Monday, August 8, 2016

August 2016

August 2016

Welcome back to the 2016-17 school year! I hope that everyone took some serious time throughout June and July to unplug, relax, and rejuvenate.  Current research is proving that there are benefits of taking a vacation from our hectic lives. Kristen Race, founder of Mindful Life wrote, "Studies are finding that vacations are like sleep. We actually need to take them to rest and recover from the stress of our daily workload and the drudgery of our to do lists."  Now you are ready- ready for your students, ready for their families, and ready for the amazing successes that lie ahead. During this time of transition from vacation to work life, please allow yourself time to process it all. Take time to enjoy getting to know your new students and colleagues. When the waves come in, know they will go out, and enjoy the ride! Don't forget to breathe.

Thursday, September 22 will be the day of our Healthy Schools Fall Workshop. Due to the generosity of the Highlands Ranch Mansion our day will be spent at the mansion focusing on collaborating with peers, review of community partnerships, time to write SHIPS, break out sessions, and yummy, healthy food! Please keep an eye out for registration information and please invite an interested colleague!

Walk to School Day- October 5th, 2016 link

Every Kid Healthy Week April 24-28th, 2017- more info to follow!

Bike to School Day- May 10, 2017 link

Bike Safety

This is a great time of year to promote Walk or Wheel on Wednesdays (WOW). Bike safety is always a great topic to start the year a safe and healthy mindset.  Maybe this video can make it easier for you to share the information with your students and their families.


Mindfulness is an effective tool to teach your students and use yourself on a daily basis. It focuses one's awareness on the present moment, lowers stress, and increases focus. If you have a few moments, this is an excellent article (link) on the research behind a mindfulness practice for teachers. If you are looking for resources for your classroom the Healthy Schools department has gathered some amazing resources that are available for checkout. Please contact for a list of books.

American Heart Association

Many of you have seen Morgan in your school, whether it’s during one of her high-energy, heart healthy-assemblies, or just popping around to help with Jump Rope or Hoops for Heart. Morgan is our district’s American Heart Association representative and works with our schools
who participate in these beneficial programs that enhance our current curriculum through lesson plans that reach outside of PE to our core subject areas. The AHA provides participating schools with:

-PE/recess equipment
-continuing education hours for teachers
-the opportunity to earn gift certificates for US Games

A partnership with the AHA does not require that your school raises a certain amount of money, as the goal of the AHA is to get healthy information in every student’s hands (prevention starts at age 5, not 50). It is completely free, and fundraising efforts are simply an option for families. Middle and High School teachers, ask Morgan about their newest program for your age group, “’The Great Re-Play!” I strongly encourage you to share 10-15 minutes of your time with Morgan to hear about these
programs and what they can bring to your students and campus. Morgan June | (623) 340-1364 |

Tech Tips

  This Google extension pops up reminders on your computer 
   screen to move throughout the day. You can decide how often it 
   pops up and it's free! Install it for you or for your entire    
   class! Move it link 

Healthy School Lunch Idea for Teachers

5 Minute Chopped Chickpea Salad


  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 16 ounce cans Chickpeas
  • 1 Cucumber, medium
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 2 Lemons, about 4 tbs, juice of
  • 1 cup Parsley, fine
  • 1/2 White onion

Baking & Spices

  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika blend, smoked
  • 1 tsp Sea salt

Oils & Vinegars

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil


Add all your ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.


South Metro Fire District link
offers Fire Safety Matters for 3rd & 4th grade and Brain Matters (a brain injury prevention class) for 5th grade to any school that lies within its jurisdiction.

Action For Healthy Kids link
Action for Healthy Kids is a coordinated healthy schools platform that you can take advantage of throughout the year. 
Be Brain Fit link
This blog provides a plethora of information surrounding optimal brain functioning.

Fuel Up to Play link
FUTP not only has an active in-school nutrition and exercise program but has amazing resources. Choose "Pick a Play" for amazing guides that can be implemented at your school! 

Physical Activity Ideas for the Classroom

The body affects the mind... and the mind affects the body.  Need some new and refreshing ideas for movement in the classroom? There is a website called Icebreakers that has a list of games (along with instructions) that can be used with students.  Great ideas for the first few weeks of school. link

Name Aerobics
The purpose of the game is to learn each other's names 
and move at the same time.

1. Have your group stand in a circle.
2. The first person says their first and last name along with a movement (i.e. spins in a circle, does a hula dance, kicks legs).
3. Everyone repeats their entire name, along with the movement immediately following. 
4. Go around the entire circle. 

Grant Opportunities

School yard grant opportunities are available through Whole Foods Kids Foundation.  Applications open September 1st and are due by October 31st.  Notification to all applicants will be February 15th. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this month's blog. Take a moment to make a comment below.  Please know that I am here for any support needed with healthy schools initiatives at your school!

In good health, Laurie LaComb


  1. Great information as always. I will share this link with my staff! Thanks Laurie.

  2. Laurie I loved the classroom physical activities. Yesterday in our PE class with our kids, we had an activity were we dumped small pom-poms on the floor and laid out 2 hula hoops. The students had to run and pick up one pom-pom at a time and put it in their hoop. They loved the activity and they were searching for colors and sizes to put in their hula hoop.

    1. Awesome! Maybe you can do it on the football field behind your school and really make them hunt and move! ;-)

  3. Thank you for the resource section in your Blog. I am currently teaching Bike Safety to 2nd graders in Health, and can use some of the information in the video. I can recommend the 3rd grade Fire Safety presentation, and the Brain Matters 5th grade presentation that South Metro Fire Safety has made available. Colleen Potton has been to Timber Trail for these presentations and does a great job.

    1. I am glad that you can use the video and thank you so much for sharing the resources. It takes a village to raise a healthy child!

  4. Thank you for the resource section in your Blog. I am currently teaching Bike Safety to 2nd graders in Health, and can use some of the information in the video. I can recommend the 3rd grade Fire Safety presentation, and the Brain Matters 5th grade presentation that South Metro Fire Safety has made available. Colleen Potton has been to Timber Trail for these presentations and does a great job.

  5. Hi Laurie, Thank you for the update. The HSSS BLOG is filled with great information. I plan to register BCE for the Walk to School Day on October 5th. Thanks for the links to these resources. I'm creating a bulletin board at school with '#FitWithFamily' written across the top. Students will bring in parent approved pictures of their family doing a movement/fitness activity together. I will send you a picture as the wall fills up with awesome pictures of families doing physical activities together! See you soon! Megan

  6. Laurie, YOU ROCK! You really did put a TON into this sight and I am excited to work with you again this year to represent WME! See you soon! - Sarah W.

  7. I am excited to be a part of this. It should be an exciting, healthy year. THANK YOU!!

  8. We are starting a garden this year. I really hope that we can get a grant to help us out. Thank you so much for sharing this resource.

    1. Let me know how we can help! We have a strong relationship with sustainability and they are wonderful to work with.


  9. Thanks Laurie for all the great information! Roxborough Primary and Intermediate are ready for a wave of wellness!