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Healthy Food Swap at Baldwin Park Elementary

Students at Baldwin Park Elementary recently participated in a healthy food swap where they traded out their unhealthy items with healthier choices.  Thanks to the Baldwin Park Healthy School Team and volunteers for leading this effort.

Meet Your CHILL Counselor, School Nurse, and Healthy School Team Leader

In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students Make Healthy Communities, the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) is pleased to sponsor a variety of programs aimed at tending to the mental and physical well-being of the children in our community. The programs, offered through a unique partnership with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), fall under the umbrella of the Coordinated Youth Initiative (CYI). Programs include the School Nursing Initiative, School-Based Health Centers (staffed by Nurse Practitioners), CHILL counseling program and the Healthy School Teams (HST). They are offered in the OCPS schools serving Winter Park and surrounding communities. (These schools make up the Winter Park Consortium of Schools and include Winter Park High School and its elementary and middle feeder schools.)

School Nursing Initiative

Financial support from WPHF allows schools in the Consortium to hire either Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) who have one year of education, or Registered Nurses (RN), who have two to four years of education. All nurses must take continuing medical education classes to keep their licenses current. School nurses provide health screening, prevention and health maintenance services, as well as emergency care.  Visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” then click on your school’s name to learn more about your school nurse.

School Based Health Centers

When the need exists, nurses or parents can refer students to the Consortium’s Nurse Practitioners (NP) based at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School. They have master’s degrees and are able to offer more advanced care.  They are available to see children residing in Winter Park Consortium attendance zones.  They provide an important service to students whose families don’t have adequate health care coverage or access to a health care provider for their children.  Funded by WPHF, the NPs can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapies for patients. Appointments are required.  Click here to learn more about the School Based Health Centers at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School.

CHILL Counselors

To students, life’s problems sometimes seem too big to handle. That is why WPHF established the CHILL Program in partnership with Orange County Public Schools and its Winter Park Consortium of Schools.

CHILL—Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons—is a free counseling program for students of all ages in the public schools serving Winter Park and neighboring communities who need help with issues such as divorce, grief and loss, low self-esteem, anger management and depression. CHILL Counselors focus on prevention and early intervention programs. There is no cost to students or families. Visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” then click on your school’s name to learn more about your CHILL counselor.

Healthy School Teams

Healthy School Teams (HST) have been established at each of the schools in the Winter Park Consortium, and are supported financially by and with leadership from WPHF.  Each team is charged with developing programs that will inject a dose of good health into its school. The programs are as varied as the schools; creativity is encouraged.  HSTs welcome the interest of parents and businesses. If you’d like to know how to get involved and support the Teams, visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” the click on your school’s name to contact your school’s HST Leader.

Healthy Kids Today

Healthy Kids Today serves as a source of valuable local health information for parents of children attending a Consortium school. It also will connect you to other websites across the Internet providing important health-related information. Visit www.healthykidstoday.org then scroll down to “Keep in Touch” to sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest local health and wellness information for your children and family.

Be sure to follow us on social media:
Facebook: HealthyKidsTodayMagazine
Twitter:  @healthykids2day
Pinterest:  healthykids2day
LinkedIn: Healthy Kids Today

Engaging Parents to Promote Healthy Schools

Most parents think schools should help address the health of students, yet many parents are not involved in creating healthy school environments for their children.  Get involved with your school by joining their Healthy School Team!

Schools, parents, and students benefit from parents being involved in their children’s school. Students who have parents involved in their school lives are more likely to:

    • Get better grades,
    • Choose healthier behaviors such as biking or choosing better food and drink options,
    • Have better social skills, and
    • Avoid unhealthy behaviors like smoking.

The CDC wants parents to have the information on how they can support their children’s school. When parents are involved, the school is happier and healthier place to be, and their child’s grades and performance are improved.

Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning.

What is Parents for Healthy Schools?

Parents for Healthy Schools is a set of resources that school groups, such as PTA/PTO and school wellness committees, can use to get parents involved in promoting healthy schools.

There are four resources included in Parents for Healthy Schools.

Parents for Healthy Schools: A Guide for Getting Parents Involved from K‒12

  • Provides an overview on:
    • School nutrition.
    • Physical education and physical activity.
    • Managing chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes in schools.
  • Explains how parents can be involved in school health and gives guidance on how the resources can be used.

Parents for Healthy Schools: Making a Difference in Your Child’s School PowerPoint Presentation

  • Explains the importance of a healthy school and identifies ways parents can take action in promoting a healthy schools.
  • Includes an evaluation form.

Ideas for Parents

  • Suggests key questions and shares ideas parents can consider when asking about a health topic or wanting to take action.

Check-in questions

  • Identifies ways to track whether parents are becoming more involved in efforts to make schools healthier.

These four resources were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with key federal and professional and non-profit organizations.

Who Should Use these Resources?

Any school or group in the school that works with parents. These groups include:

  • National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
  • National Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
  • School wellness committee
  • School health personnel and advisory council
  • Action team for partnerships that is part of the National Network of Partnership Schools

Others, such as school nutrition directors, school administrators, school nurses, teachers, parents, and community members or organizations, interested in working with parents and getting them involved in the school can also use these resources.

For more information, visit Parents for Healthy Schools website.

Make a Difference, Join Your Healthy School Team

Lakemont Elementary's Healthy School Team kicks off the 2015-16 school year with their first meeting of the year.

Lakemont Elementary’s Healthy School Team kicks off the 2015-16 school year.

Looking for ways to inspire students to eat a few more fruits and vegetables and move more?  Want to have a voice in the health and wellness activities in your child’s school?  Join your school’s Healthy School Team (HST).

HSTs were created and modeled in Winter Park Consortium schools—Winter Park High School and its 10 elementary and middle feeder schools—with support from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) beginning in 2002. The teams—charged with coming up with activities to promote healthy lifestyles for students and staff in their own schools—are now required in every public school in Florida.

As a parent, you know your children and their needs better than anyone. By getting involved with your child’s healthy school team, you can help create, monitor and enhance school policies that will improve the school environment.

To find out more about your school’s HST, including meeting schedule, areas of focus, and membership, follow these steps:

 

1. Determine who your HST leader is.  Click on your school’s name on Healthy Kids Today, then look for “Healthy School Team Leader” to find your HST leader.

2. Contact your HST leader.  Explain your interest in the HST, ask about work the group has already done and what opportunities there are for you to get involved.

3. Ask when and where the next HST meeting will be held. HSTs may be holding open forums for the public, but most will be meeting as a small group.

4. Share your thoughts and ideas.  Discuss what you think the school could do to help promote healthy food, nutrition education and exercise opportunities for your children.

Do you have additional questions or comments about Healthy School Teams? Email us at healthykidstoday@wphf.org

 

Healthy School Teams Focus of 2015 Florida PTA Leadership Convention

11742656_983803101652164_1829086630013573625_n (2)On July 17, state and national school health and wellness leaders came together to address over 800 participants at the 2015 Florida PTA Leadership Convention.  Parents, students, and community leaders listened to keynote presentations from Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Ms. Laura Bay, National PTA President.  Dr. Wechsler stressed learning through movement, the importance of physical activity/recess in school, and how offering healthy alternatives as rewards for good behavior will make a difference in the health and well-being of children and their learning environments.  Dr. Wechsler also commended Florida for leading the nation in the support for physical activity and healthy eating within schools.

Dr. Wechsler later joined Ms. Bay, as well as several FL leaders for a school health and wellness panel.    Participants eagerly asked questions of the panel, determined to take the knowledge gained through the Florida PTA Leadership Convention and implement it within their schools.

During the second day of the convention, participants had the opportunity to learn about the new Healthy School Team requirement, fundraising, and resources from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Florida Action for Healthy Kids, and Dairy Council of Florida.

For assistance with the new Healthy School Team requirement, please visit the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website

For resources available to assist your Healthy School Team, please visit Action for Healthy Kids’ website

For information on how the Florida Dairy Council can assist your Healthy School Team, please visit Fuel Up to Play 60’s website