AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.
Tool for Schools: Healthy Resources
Parents and educators, load up your healthy lifestyles education toolkit with these national resources that some AHA Brains and Bodies Award-winning schools are utilizing.
Nutrition Nuggets and Teen Food & Fitness are monthly newsletters from Resources for Educators that allow schools to educate parents and families in a simple and engaging way that reinforces local wellness policy goals. Schools may subscribe to the newsletters, which are available electronically (via PDF) in English and Spanish, and receive free bonuses such as Nutrition Q&A, Day by Day Fitness Fun and other resources that are all reproducible. Because you receive the PDF with your subscription, you can post it on your school web site as a resource, as well as make copies to send it home.
Some schools are writing their own healthy lifestyles newsletters and others are including a health corner in their newsletter. St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School sends copies of the Resources for Educators newsletters home each month and has had great feedback from parents.
Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program encouraging youth to get active for at least 60 minutes a day and to choose foods that fuel their bodies in a healthy way. The program is for elementary, middle and high school students!
Studies show that well-nourished, active students are better students academically, so the program provides a wide range of resources for schools to use to help students have fun while being fit and healthy and preparing them to learn. Schools may sign up for the program with a designated Program Advisor who serves as the champion engaging and empowering students as they implement the program.
Lots of free strategies and resources are provided for assessing your school’s situation, planning the kickoff and keeping students involved, plus funding is available. Students play a big role and can plan events, receive rewards and track their progress.
Laurel Park Elementary fuels up; its student-led Healthy Idea Team created this video to kick off their campaign last fall inviting students to Fuel Up to Play 60! The also brainstormed all the information for this flier for a healthy poster campaign for students to show how they fuel up.
Game On: The Ultimate Wellness Challenge
Game On is free online resource from Action for Healthy Kids for elementary schools, teachers, students and families working to incorporate healthy food choices and physical activity into their lives each day and into their school community.
It features 5 steps to implementing a successful program and offers a structured framework, ideas, and tools in English and Spanish, such as the Rookie Tracker sheets where students can track “energy in” (what they are eating) and “energy out” (how many minutes they are physically active) each day of the week. Registration is required to access all the tools, but it is free.
Davis Drive Elementary is using these tracking sheets with small incentives for students who turn in their sheets to their P.E. teacher, and when they reach certain levels, they are featured on the student news network.
FoodPlay Productions is a national organization bringing live theater shows to schools and other organizations serving youth with a high-energy, award-winning show about healthy habits for elementary and middle-school aged children. All the productions teach youth about making healthy choices and include resource kits with activity books, lessons plans, handouts, follow-up materials for staff and parents and more. Oak Grove Elementary in Raleigh brought FoodPlay in 2011 to rave reviews from students and staff.
Students Taking Charge
Middle and high schoolers interested in creating a healthier environment can take charge of their health through the Students Taking Charge program from Action for Healthy Kids. The web site is full of ideas and resources to educate youth and get them started on projects. A school in Winston-Salem began Kids Ride and Read—a simple program where students pedaled more than 4,000 miles in 5 months on exercise bikes. If any schools in Wake County are participating, let us know!
Healthy Snack Ideas and Birthday Celebrations
Wiley Elementary, which is an international school in Raleigh, encourages students to bring healthy snacks with an A-Z flair for fun, and also celebrates students’ birthdays in the classroom with different international traditions. We have adapted their ideas and others for Healthy Snacks A to Z and Celebrating Birthdays around the World as a resource for schools.