Nearly 25 million young people in the United States of America are either obese or overweight, putting this generation at risk of being the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. They are also more likely to suffer from illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and asthma, have social problems, and miss more school than their average weight peers.
Schools have the power to shape the lifelong health and well-being of children and adolescents, and school districts have an exciting opportunity to help schools address the childhood obesity crisis by partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. Participation in the Healthy Schools Program is an excellent way to complement other ongoing efforts surrounding the implementation of The School District of Palm Beach County’s Wellness Promotion Policy (2.035) as well as an opportunity to be recognized nationally for their efforts.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation in 2005. The Alliance launched the Healthy Schools Program in February of 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Healthy Schools Program provides tools, resources, and support to more than 27,000 schools nationwide in the following six wellness categories that address school health improvement:
- default_titleSchool Health & Safety Policies & Environment
- default_titleHealth Education
- default_titlePhysical Education & Physical Activities
- default_titleNutrition Services
- default_titleHealth Promotion for Staff
- default_titleFamily and Community Involvement
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- default_titleNational recognition for small victories and big successes.
- default_titleCustomized Support to help create a healthier school environment through a liaison available in person, by phone or email.
- default_titleImplementation support and tools that are robust and informative to help schools achieve lasting change.
- default_titleNetworking opportunities with schools across the country on the quest for a healthier school.
- default_titleA Resource Database with quality resources and grant opportunities for every school’s efforts to implement healthy changes.
- default_titleNational Advisors who are experts in their areas and are always available to help schools with their questions, resources, and award applications.
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1. Any school can enroll in the online program and receive electronic and telephonic support and access to resources at no cost. The only difference being that online schools do not have a Program Manager assigned to assist those schools.
2. Onsite schools receive support from a dedicated Program Manager from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Program Managers guide the School Wellness Councils through needs assessment and action planning steps; local, state, and national resources into the schools; and showcase school successes. Participating schools attend two workshop trainings a year to support their efforts to improve nutrition, physical activity, and staff wellness.
- default_titleDesignate a school-level contact for the Healthy Schools Program.
- default_titleBuild and maintain a School Wellness Council that meets at least once every other month.
- default_titleEnsure that School Wellness Council representatives participate in all technical assistance sessions.
- default_titleComplete the Healthy School Inventory.
- default_titleDevelop and implement an annual Action Plan that is aligned with the Healthy Schools Program Framework.
- default_titleCommunicate regularly with the Program Manager.
- default_titleParticipate in Healthy Schools Program evaluation activities, as requested.
- default_titleCommit to participating in the Healthy Schools Program for multiple school years.
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- Elementary Schools (19):
Benoist Farms, Berkshire, Equestrian Trails, Everglades, Forest Hill, Galaxy, Gove, Heritage, Hope-Centennial, J C Mitchell, Liberty Park, Meadow Park, Palm Springs, Pierce Hammock, SD Spady, South Olive, Starlight Cove, Sunrise Park, Timber Trace
- Middle Schools (3):Jeaga, Lake Shore, Palm Springs Community
- High Schools (4):Boca Raton Community, Forest Hill Community, John I Leonard, Santaluces Community
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This graph illustrates the percentage of assessment items in each SHI module that are marked as a “3”, i.e. fully implemented on the most recent SHI assessment. If a school entered a 0, 1, or 2 to any item, then that would be considered incomplete. This graph also compares the SHI assessment results to the results of other schools in that state and nationally who are also enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program and have completed at least one SHI assessment.
This graph illustrates the percentage of SHI items in each module that have been added to a school’s action plan at the time of the schools’ most recently completed SHI. This graph also compares the percentage of items added to this district’s action plan to the that of all other districts in that state combined and nationally who are enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program and have completed at least one assessment. This graph also compares the percentage of items added to the schools’action plans in that state and nationally who are also enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program and have completed at least one SHI assessment.
This table highlights the percentage of schools that are currently meeting the bronze, silver or gold criteria for a National Healthy Schools Award eligibility in each module. This is based off of the schools’ most recently completed SHIand does not take into account whether a school has applied or been awarded with a National Healthy Schools Award.
This graph displays schools’ progress over time in each SHI module and across the Nutrition topic and Physical Activity Topic, comparing the schools’ responses to the first completed SHI to the responses on the schools’ most recently completed SHI.
Equestrian Trails ES
Forest Hill ES
SD Spady ES
South Olive ES
Timber Trace ES
Florida winning schools at the Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. in September, 2014. Forest Hill ES and Everglades ES are among the schools from Palm Beach County have earned a National Recognition Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. To earn this award, these schools worked hard to make significant changes in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity, and staff wellness by meeting or exceeding stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, to help them reverse the national trend in childhood obesity.
This recognition represents all the work that these schools, the School District, and its partners are doing to make our community healthier. They join previous award recipients from Palm Beach County: Hagen Road Elementary (2010), Banyan Creek Elementary (2011), Crosspointe Elementary (2011), Berkshire Elementary (2012), South Olive Elementary (2012), Forest Hill Elementary (2013 & 2014), and Manatee Elementary (2013), and Everglades ES (2014).
The 2015 National Recognition Awards go to:
SD Spady Elementary – Bronze level
Timber Trace Elementary – Bronze level
South Olive Elementary – Bronze level
Equestrian Trails Elementary – Bronze level
Every day in the United States 53 million people go to schools to either teach or learn, making America’s schools one of the most important environments in the struggle to reduce childhood obesity. Schools are powerful places to not only teach young people the academic skills they need to succeed, but also healthy life skills. Healthy students learn better, are better able to concentrate on their work, attend school on a regular basis, and perform better in class. Because of this, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation launched its Healthy Schools Program in February of 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Program promotes a comprehensive approach by helping schools improve access to healthier foods; increase physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day; enhance nutrition education; and establish staff wellness programs.
The goal is to have all schools in Palm Beach County participate in the Healthy Schools Program. The Healthy Schools Program offers free access to a wealth of resources and tools for schools to become a healthier place for students to learn and for staff to work. This partnership will inspire young people and their families to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Overall, it will enhance wellness efforts as well as provide a monitoring instrument to evaluate how the Program is doing. To learn more visit: http://www.healthiergeneration.org/
Thank you…Wellness Champions for your support and promotion!