Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 2017

Taking care of yourself is so hard to prioritize during the beginning months of the year! The reality is when you do take time to take care of yourself you create more time and space to take care of others. Pick one thing, make it as small or big as you like, and commit to making it happen for yourself.  For example, if you want to enjoy a healthy meal, take 20 minutes out of your Sunday to cook yourself something that tastes delicious and will feed you soul during the first few days of the week.  Maybe you want more movement, schedule movement dates over the week to walk, take a class, or watch an exercise video (then you don't really have to do it- ha!). The goal is for 2017-18 is to make it the best we can and that starts with you, so don't miss the opportunity!

Funding Opportunity

The Westerra Credit Union School Grant Program strives to enhance students’ learning experiences by providing items such as art supplies, sports fees and equipment, after school programs, workbooks or other programs your school determines most beneficial.

This new grant opportunity can help you fund up to $500 in Healthy Schools Initiatives. Due September 15th  grant link

Important Dates

September 14, 2017          Healthy Schools Fall Workshop
November 1, 2017             SHIPs due to Healthy Schools peeps
February 1, 2018               Mid-year check-in
April 2018                         Success Stories
Late April 2018                  End Of Year Celebration (date and place TBD)
June 7-8th, 2018               Healthy Schools Leadership Retreat in Keystone, CO

Healthy Schools Website

We have a website!  Check out all the resources and information!  Please let us know if you have something to share.  Healthy Schools Website


Green PBL Apps Due Sept. 15!

The Green Project Based Learning Fund has successfully encouraged schools to address energy and other sustainability issues, joining the District in its efforts to be responsible stewards of our resources. This year we will focus on three main pillars for the incentive: Innovation, Student Leadership and Community Impact.

Green PBL Fund
The proposed projects should identify an environmental problem or need in your community (could be your school, neighborhood, city, or Douglas County) and create an innovative solution to that problem or need. Students should be involved in project research, development, and evaluation.

Funds Available: Schools may apply for funds in any amount. $200,000 is available to distribute to applicants on a competitive basis.
Application: Green PBL Application
Deadline: September 15

The most important part of this program is TO HAVE FUN while learning about innovative ways to sustain our school district.

Staff Wellness

 Mark your calendars for this amazing opportunity! Our fabulous DCSD Wellness department is offering an challenging day at the Epic Sky Trek in Castle Rock!  Saturday, September 30th!

Nutrition Services

Physical Activity

This is a well researched resource for incorporating physical activity into your schools and communities ! Active Living Research

KRA shut its doors this summer. We want to acknowledge how wonderful they have been for motivating thousands of DCSD students and their families to run. Thank you KRA! Luckily we were fortunate to have Megan Balfe spend some of her summer hours putting together an easy follow guide on creating your own running program for your school. Please feel free to reach out to our office for any help!   

Healthy Fundraising

The SuperFit School Challenge is a healthy fundraising partnership with Action for Healthy Kids, a national non-profit organization that has been supporting schools in becoming healthier places for students and communities since 2002.  We know schools. And with most school fundraisers offering unhealthy snacks and beverages, we wanted to overhaul this model and create a fundraiser that engages students and their communities in healthy behaviors while also helping schools meet their fundraising goals.  For more info:  SuperFit School Challenge

Better grades might be found on the playground. A new study of elementary-age children shows that those who were not part of an after-school exercise program tended to pack on a particular type of body fat that can have deleterious impacts on brain health and thinking. But prevention and treatment could be as simple as playing more games of tag. Please read more.... Recess article 


3 basic ways to be happier... Mind Fuel Daily

Peekapak- A mindfulness platform for PreK-3rd grade teachers.

The 7 Day Kindness Challenge
I'd like to challenge you to complete a 7-Day Kindness Challenge. Here's some ground rules: 
1) You must do something different every day. You can do the same thing on two different days if you want, but it only counts the first time.
2) You have to push yourself out of your comfort zone at least once. In other words, you have to do an act of kindness that stretches you a bit.
                                        3) At least one of your acts of kindness must be completely                                         anonymous. No one must know that it was you who did it,                                           or what you did. You can't tell anyone about it.
Do you want to learn more about kindness? Check out David Hamilton's work on kindness.


The big news in nutrition is to ditch the sugar, so try out this yummy low sugar recipe! Looks like a lot but it makes delicious leftovers!
Shrimp, Orzo, Feta, and Olive Casserole
Shrimp with Feta, Orzo, and Spinach
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
A delicious one pot dish for a quick dinner or great for a potluck or dinner party.
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings8 servings
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds shrimp preferably 21 to 25 per pound, shelled and deveined
  • 2 ounce twelve boxes chopped tomatoes preferably San Marzano or Pomi, 12
  • tablespoon four cloves garlic or 1garlic confit
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 pound fresh or or 2 ten oz boxes frozen spinach 10
  • 1/4 pound feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  1. Cook orzo to al dente, drain, coat with a quarter cup of the olive oil and set aside.
  2. Sauté garlic gently in 1/4 cup olive oil, or if using garlic confit, add tomatoes directly with garlic confit and 1/4 cup of the oil. Add pepper flakes and lemon zest to sauce.
  3. Let sauce simmer 10 minutes, then add to orzo and mix well.
  4. Season and sauté shrimp in a medium high heat pan, in batches if necessary to not crowd shrimp. Just brown shrimp, they will finish cooking in second step. Remove from pan and use a little water or stock to remove any browned bits from hot pan. Set aside.
  5. Prepare frozen spinach by squeezing out any excess water. If using fresh spinach, sauté in a 1/4 cup of the olive oil, adding in portions by the handful until the whole pound is wilted down. Allow to cool and squeeze out water.
  6. Line the bottom of a 3.5 quart of pyrex dish or Dutch oven with the spinach.
  7. Place orzo and tomato sauce mix on top.
  8. Gently nestle in the browned shrimp, shrimp will finish cooking in oven.
  9. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top.
  10. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and serve with freshly chopped parsley on top.

Well that's all for September, lots more to share but there's always October. Please send in any photos or successes that we can post on this blog. You and what you are creating at your schools matters most and we want to share it with everyone.  Thank you for all that you do, hopefully we will see you on September 14th.

With gratitude,
Your Healthy Schools Cheerleaders

Laurie LaComb
Kimmy Romine


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE all the opportunities for use to get involved with our students! So many ideas for movement and after school activities to school healthy eating initiatives! it is great to see the great initiatives being implemented and encouraged district wide.

  2. Thanks Kimmie and Laurie. Love all of the great information.