Friday, March 11, 2016

March 2016

March 2016 Blog Post

Welcome Spring!! This is the perfect time to strengthen health goals with the presence of more sunshine, warmer days, fresh air, and blooming buds.  Although our school year is winding down that does not mean we need to slow down our momentum in developing healthy learning and working environments throughout DCSD.  This month's blog has some new information regarding funding opportunities, Bike to School Day, websites, nutrition, and more. Please take a moment to read through this month's blog- thank you for visiting.

Mark Your Calendars

April 11-May 6th, 2016

Kaiser Permanente is holding their Fire Up Your Feet! Campaign starting April 11th. If you register your school in the program, your school will become eligible to win cash prizes while motivating your entire school community to participate! This is a fun opportunity to support WOW! campaigns and SHIPS that focus on PA. Participants can do a variety of forms of exercise, including dancing, walking, yoga, classroom PA, scooter, etc. The website is easy to use and the prizes range from $250-$2,500. Use this link to find out more and to register: Fire Up Your Feet!

May 4th, 2016

Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 4th! This is a great opportunity to galvanize visibility for biking (and walking) to and from school.  Bike to School Day is a national event that gives communities across the country the opportunity to join together in bicycling - or walking - to school on the same day. CDOT urges your school to participate in Bike to School Day to engage children, parents, teachers, and community leaders to bike or walk to school together to promote being active and making streets friendlier and less congested for walking and bicycling.

Participating in Bike to School Day, Week, or Month gives schools a chance to increase the number of children biking and walking safely to and from school and provides parents a chance to experience the excitement and safety of their children walking and biking to school.
You can register your events on – it’s free. This website contains useful downloadable resources such as planning your event, low to no cost event ideas, promotional and educational materials, media toolkits, and allows Colorado SRTS to track participation. Whether you are new to Walk and Bike to School Days or have been doing it for years or your community plans to participate for a day, a week, throughout the month of May, or all year long, the resources available on this site will help you plan the best Bike to School activities for your community.

Brain Boosters

The Deep-Dive Breath: Inhale for four counts, hold for four, and exhale slowly for four counts. You can increase the holding of breath by a few seconds once the students find the rhythm of the exercise.  More exercises and brain boosters can be found at Brain Boosters & Breathing Exercises

Middle School Brain Boosters Math Brain Energizers  Healthful Living Brain Boosters

Play "As If"

Directions: Teacher reads sentence (students may create their own sentences for additional activities) to class and students act out each sentence for 30 seconds.

 Jog in place as if a big scary bear is chasing you 
 Walk forwards as if you’re walking through chocolate pudding 
 Jump in place as if you are popcorn popping 
 Reach up as if grabbing balloons out of the air 
 March in place and play the drums as if you are in a marching band 
 Paint as if the paint brush is attached to your head 
 Swim as if you are in a giant pool of Jell-O 
 Move your feet on the floor as if you are ice skating 
 Shake your body as if you are a wet dog  

More Elementary Brain Boosters

BOKS for kids by Reebok (BOKS) is a before, during, and after school PA and nutrition program that is free and available to all DCSD staff.  If you would like access, please contact Shawna Romero at  


Get 50% of all sales through Dutch MillBulbs at  Flower Fundraiser

Game on Grants (National)

Funder: Action for Healthy Kids

Through partners CSX Transportation, IU Health, Tyson Foods, Materne Go Go Squeez and Saputo, Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to release its School Grants for Healthy Kids Game On grant opportunities for the 2016-2017 school year. Around 500 schools will be awarded funds ranging from$500 to $2,500 to support physical activity and nutrition initiatives that support schools in becoming recognized as a health-promoting school. Schools funded in previous grant years are eligible for a sustainability grant of $500.

Deadline: April 1, 2016
Application Link: Click Here to learn more and apply.

HRCA Mother's Day 5K- DCSD Healthy Schools is the beneficiary! If you are looking for a beautiful race on May 7th, please register for the race through

Healthy Schools Work in Action!

Cherokee Trail has been making Jammin' Minutes videos with Mrs. Whittingham, our healthy schools lead at CTE. The videos were created by her Student Led Health Team (SLHT), who created the videos weekly and recorded them on their own during SLHT committee time.  The videos were then blasted out to staff to share with their classes. Each Monday on the announcements the team announces to play and perform the Jammin' minute. Each class would play it on their own time daily for a week. Kindergarten got excited and sent this letter to Mrs. Whittingham...



DCSD has some amazing work happening throughout the 40 schools that write and implement SHIPS.  Here are a few highlights this month...

~ One school is utilizing Spooner Boards to promote balance, core strength, and challenging activities as brain boosters in the classroom! So fun!
~ Another school is using the Slow, Go, Whoa! campaign to promote proper food choices in the school- If you want more information go to Go-Slow-Whoa

~ Three schools are repainting playgrounds with bright and shiny paint!


March is National Nutrition Month! Nutrition Resources

Many studies have demonstrated that nutrition affects students’ thinking skills, behavior, and health, all factors that impact academic performance. Research suggests that diets low in trans and saturated fats can positively impact learning and memory, nutritional deficiencies early in life can affect the cognitive development of school-aged children, and access to nutrition improves students’ cognition, concentration, and energy levels. Implementing healthy fundraisers, snacks and celebrations can be a challenging task for teachers, but there are many resources to support the work! This month I will focus on Healthy Celebrations due to the fact that the end of the year is close and there are so many accomplishments to celebrate from the 2015/16 school year. How can it be done in a way that supports a healthy school environment?  Here are a few ideas...

  • Allow extra recess time
  • Create a "Celebrate our Year" book
  • Host a dance party instead of a cupcake party
  • Play a scavenger hunt
  • Play a kickball game, possibly staff verses students or class verses class
  • Have healthy snacks! Challenge parents to bring the healthiest, creative, yummy party foods- prizes to be won
  • Here are some ideas that you can get some parents to create Healthy party snacks
  • Play Minute to Win It
  • Paper ball basketball
  • Beach ball fun!

Research is plentiful to support the work, please contact Laurie LaComb for more resources at or comment on the blog.


If you are a fan of Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark, and you are on Facebook he has a great Facebook page where he posts current research supporting the benefits of exercise along with the neuroscience that supports the use of it in classrooms.

NFL Play 60- free app from American Heart Association that requires jumping, running, and turning!

Relax and Sleep Well app by Glenn Harrold. Guided mediations to sleep well. Sleep is so important to our health!! 

Healthy Eating

Breakfast Burrito

Who doesn’t love a burrito? Breakfast burritos are a great, easy snack to keep on hand. Scramble 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup black beans, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and wrap in 1 small whole-wheat tortilla. Make a bunch, wrap in foil, and keep in the freezer for whenever the craving hits. Protein from the eggs and black beans keep you fuller longer, and the spicy salsa keeps things interesting.

Enjoy spring break- you deserve it! Take care of yourself by sleeping more, taking that exercise class you've wanted to try, read a non-work related book, laugh with friends, find some quiet, and get outside!

With gratitude,


  1. I love this blog site Laurie!!
    Great job

  2. I like the flower fundraiser idea- a great non food fundraiser! Has anyone tried this?

    1. I participated in it in Chicago where they raised enough funds for a climbing wall. I am happy to reach out to the company and get information sent your way, just email me

  3. Thanks for the information on the blog site. I have one, too.

  4. I just visited it- awesome!!! The Brain Matters presentation looks like something we should get into all of our schools! How amazing!

  5. I love the bike to school day! What a cool idea. I might try this. I live close enough:)

  6. Thanks for all of the great sights. The Brain Matters is great.

  7. Looking forward to creating a SHIP this year. I appreciate the nutrition links! My team might apply for the Action for Healthy Kids grant...I'll be in touch with you to see what you think. Thanks for sharing this with us!