May is a month of reflections, finalizing grades, cleaning out desks, saying goodbyes, but mostly it's about celebrations. We have a lot to celebrate in the Healthy Schools Department due to our wonderful Healthy Schools Leaders and the work they have achieved throughout the district! This year we hit our goal of having 40 schools participate, including 46 SHIPS that increase the health and wellness opportunities for students and staff. If you were able to float around from school to school to see some of the impact SHIPS have, you would see...
... newly painted playgrounds with new and different equipment.
... Student Led Health Teams organizing family wellness nights, exercise videos and nutrition campaigns.
... classrooms writing in gratitude journals, filling thankful jars, working on mindful listening activities, and lots of focused breathing activities that help with focus and calmness. (Students and staff).
... unique projects including Project Unify, policy changes (YEA!) in food allowed in schools, Spooner Boards in classrooms, Flat 14ers, Jammin' Minutes, "What's Eating You?" campaign, a stationary bike in a school library for reading, and so much more!
... over 12,000 students and more than 800 staff members have been impacted by School Health Improvement Plans.
You would hear...
... "Every time something bothered me, I would twist on a Spooner Board and it would help me. It helped me like a stress ball." -3rd grader, BCE
... "I have had less than 5% behavior issues and problems that come up with students because they are able to talk to each other and problem solve." - Teacher, Redstone
... "I never use to play at recess because I'm not good at sports, but I don't need to be good at sports to use scoops." -5th grader, Cougar Run (used funds to buy alternative playground equipment)
... "These (PA breaks) help me focus more in class." -Student, Meadow View Elementary
Overall, you would see and hear happy and healthy students and staff, all due to the work of our amazing healthy schools leaders at schools who take the time and put in the effort to create and implement their SHIPS. Thank you to everyone at each school who has helped move this work forward and made this year our best yet!
The Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 application is now available online! You must have one nutrition and one physical activity "play" to complete at your school $4,000 to make healthy changes at your school next year? The deadline is June 15th and I am happy to come out and help in any way! If you aren't interested in applying for this grant, you may want to view their 2016/17 playbook for fantastic SHIP ideas.
Physical Activity Game
Good Witch, Bad Witch
One player is designated as the witch and stands in the middle of the play space randomly shouting “good witch”, “bad witch”, “silly witch”, or “sand-witch”. When the other players hear “good witch”, they must move forward with some sort of physical movement such as a lunges, one legged jumps, frog jumps, etc. When they hear “bad witch”, they have to do the same movement, but in reverse. If they hear “silly witch”, they must do that same movement sideways. And if they hear “sand-witch”, everyone must run around trying to not get tagged by the witch.
Taking a few minutes of each day (morning, after recess, end of day), the kids will write a note about something they are grateful for and place it in the jar. Every Friday, the teacher reads these notes out loud to the group. You can put themes to each week, students can make their own jars for people to leave notes in, you can make a jar for volunteers, etc.
Cougar Run 5th graders have been involved in a amazing project! After watching the movie Fed Up, students picked different topics about sugar to study. Beyond research they invited a panel of experts for students to interview and ask deeper questions. The culminating project is a sugar free cookbook along with their research. If you would are interested in getting more information about this amazing project, please contact Abigail Cary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthy End of the Year Party Ideas
Get some clothes pins, snack size ziplocks, googly eyes, some pipe cleaners, and some healthy snacks. A parent volunteer may be helpful too.
Enjoy the end of the school year. Take some mindful moments to sit back and soak up the fruits of your labors. Have a fabulous summer break- you deserve it. The next blog will be posted mid July with tons of information to get your school year started with an active, healthy start. I look forward to building on our work, building sustainability at each school, and having fun and healthy 2016/17 school year!
Laurie LaComb @ email@example.com