Monday, February 27, 2017

March 2017

March 2017

Healthy and happy students and staff perform better! We know this because we observe it, we live it, and there is a plethora of research to support it.  At this point in the school year we start to feel a bit tired, burnt, and ready for the year to end (good thing spring break is only a few weeks away!).  I want to encourage you to remind yourself of how awesome you and your work with healthy schools are, and to encourage everyone to sprint past the finish line.  This time of year is a great time to offer new ideas to teachers, apply for grants, and to reach our to your community members to help you do what you do!  Kimmy and I are here to support you any way that we can.  Have a wonderful month of March.

Grant Opportunities (5 chances!)

Chance #1

It's on AGAIN!!

Local schools will receive up to $3,500 each to enhance academic or extra-curricular programs. It could be your school! For eligibility, click the "Nominate Your School" link. Students or teachers should write a short essay specifically detailing how your school would use $3,500 to enhance education and where the money would go (I.e., toward a new facility, new equipment, teen education program or disability program). Students, teachers and administration are encouraged to participate in Groove Auto's DRIVE for education® program. LINK

September Grant Awards (selected schools will be awarded in September)

Submissions open March 1
Submissions close August 1
All selected schools will be notified by August 15
Award ceremony will be held in September
  1. Look at our DCSD February Grant award winners...

Roxborough Intermediate $3,500

Mesa Middle School $3,500

Chance #2  Funding Opportunity for a Fitness Center!

Colorado has been selected to kick off the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) 2017 DON’T QUIT! Fitness campaign, which will award $100,000 fitness centers to three Colorado schools that demonstrate leadership in getting and keeping their students fit. The nomination process is open now and will go through the end of May.  To learn more or to nominate your school, visit:

Chance #3 General Healthy Schools Initiatives

Schools need resources to implement health and wellness practices that help students eat better and be physically active. Thanks to our partners, Action for Healthy Kids has provided $6.6 million in grants to schools since 2009. Our School Grants for Healthy Kids can help your school health team achieve its goal to make every kid healthy and ready to learn. Action for Healthy Kids is now accepting grant applications for the 2017-2018 school year between February 6 - April 7, 2017. See below for details and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and find out how schools like yours are putting their grants to work.

Chance #4 DCEF

In an effort to make the Apple Awards more accessible and inclusive to DCSD employees, DCEF is pleased to announce the Apple Awards will be offering three (3) competitive grants for any DCSD employee, school, or department to apply. 

Applicants can earn up to $5,000 if selected.
Grant monies will be awarded in the following categories:
  • Classroom Support Grant
  • School/Department Innovation Grant
  • Professional Development Grant
Applications for Apple Award Opportunities Grants are available by clicking here. Submissions must be received by March 31, 2017 

Chance #5  $$ for Students

Announcing the 23rd Annual Poetry Contest

Grab your pens and get ready to have some fun! Prizes will be awarded by grade/age divisions. 1st place: $60; 2nd Place $40; 3rd Place $20. Longmont Dairy Website
Write about:
“A Day in the Life of a Cow.”  Think of all the fun, crazy, imaginative things a cow could do in 24 hours.Email your poem to: before midnight, March 12, 2017.

School Success Stories

Roxborough incorporates wellness and engineering! 

In engineering class, all students grades 3-6 learned what "wellness" means. With help from the districts Universal Prevention team, we defined wellness as physical, intellectual, and emotional wellbeing. Students took a survey to determine which area they struggle with most, then designed and built prototypes to solve wellness problems in each of the 3 categories.

We found that almost half of our students say they struggle with intellectual wellness(the ability to learn something new or focus on task completion). Students prototyped fidget pencils, processes to find friends to sit with at lunch, ideas for wellness apps, new brain breaks, and a mindfulness area in the engineering room to name a few. It was a powerful experience for all of us and a great teaching tool to inform students about wellness. 
They also received GROOVE funding and will be creating an outdoor/indoor tinker lab with the funds.

Cherry Valley has a healthy Valentine's Day celebration with these tasty beauties...

3 DCSD Schools win the title of Healthiest School in Colorado Champions! Way to go Bear Canyon, Cherry Valley & Fox Creek.  Here's the article and photos will be posted next blog. 

Can Virtual Reality “Teach” Empathy?

"But emerging evidence suggests that one of VR’s biggest strengths is its ability to tap student emotions, notably empathy and the can-do confidence known as self-efficacy." Article


Don't forget the necessity of recess....

New Books in our Healthy Schools Library 

Healthy Schools Library

Self Compassion for Teens, by Lee-Anne Gray 

Breathe, Chill, by Litsa Roberts

The Judgmental Flower, by Julia Flower

Mindfulness for Teachers, by Patricia A. Jennings

Mindful Moments (cards), by Lynea & Jim Gillen

Looking for before and after school PA at your school?

Do you remember feeling like you could do anything!? When you climbed a tree for fun, ran down a hill as fast as you could, or picked up your best friend just to show your strength? We do. And we want our kids to feel that way too.

KidsFit Colorado enhances kids’ physical literacy and watches them become competent, confident, and motivated. We optimize kids’ physical education so they can tap into their athleticism like it’s some kind of superpower.

When a child is taught HOW to move, they WILL choose to play-(rather than grab the iPad or video game). When we give kids the knowledge of how to find success in a physical endeavor, kids step out of the gym knowing they can do whatever they set out to do. This mentality leads to perseverance and confidence, it carries on with kids throughout their lives. When we teach them fundamental physical movement it will lead to a lifetime of health and happiness.

Specialized Kids’ Fitness 

Contact Nancy Weissert at for more information

De-stress Before the Test

1. Do some breathing exercises with your students.  link for adults and older kidslink for younger students

2. Exercise!

3. Help students prepare for the test- either content or testing skills

4.  Bring some bubble wrap to pop or other finger fidgets (use before test of course)

5. Open up some mind space through guided thinking exercises.  

Drink your Water!

In case you haven't been as good about drinking water, read this article and learn about 34 ways it will make your life a little bit better.   It's also great to remind your students

Healthy Recipe

Simple peanut butter banana overnight oats made with just 7 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time.
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Serves: 1 - 2
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Half a banana, peeled and sliced
  1. In a mason jar, plastic container or bowl, layer oats, milk, ground flaxseed or chia seeds, Greek yogurt, honey, peanut butter and banana. Stir to combine and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, eat it cold or heat it in the microwave for a warm oatmeal.
Serving size: 1 (of 2) Calories: 250 Fat: 9.2g Carbohydrates: 35.9g Sugar: 17.6gSodium: 46.3mg Fiber: 4.1g Protein: 10.3g Cholesterol: 7.8mg

Thank you for reading this month's blog! Leave a comment and get your name put in our "Blog Reader of the Month" raffle. 

With peace and gratitude,



  1. Thanks Laurie,
    I read the whole blog this month. You are an amazing wellness coordinator! See you soon! - Sarah

  2. Thank you so much for all of the grant opportunities! I also love the peanut butter oatmeal recipe. I will be passing on much of the information to our classroom teachers!

  3. Another month of great info! My students are so proud to have their photo and creation be a part of the blog!!

  4. I am excited to apply for a few of these grants!
    <3 Emily