Free Walk and Bike to School Workshop

Walk-Roll0292-300x211Our friends at Healthy Central Florida are providing a free Walk and Bike to School Workshop!

(plus free dinner and childcare for registered participants – first come, first served. Must register by Sept. 18)

Kids learn best when they’ve had a little exercise. Help them get more with a fun, healthy, safe commute. Join Healthy Central Florida to explore and encourage walking and biking to school – safely.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 6:00 p.m – 7:30 p.m.
Winter Park Community Center, 721 W. New England, WP 32789

Parents, Principals, Healthy School Team Leaders, City Officials, police, pedestrian/cycling advocates and PTO representatives


  • Potential for $$$ Mini-Grants
  • Learn from local walking and biking experts
  • Be inspired by replicable successes
  • Complimentary dinner from Outback Steakhouse & childcare for registered participants. Limited slots. Register early-deadline 9-18!
  • Receive tools to promote walking and biking at your school
  • Representatives from police, municipalities, traffic engineers, parents and teachers all working together for safer routes to school
  • Free materials for schools – banners, yard signs, counters, stickers, t-shirts and more!

Please RSVP today to

Questions? Contact Abby Seelinger at, or call 407.644.2300 ext. 241.

To learn more about Healthy Central Florida, visit Healthy Central Florida is community-based partnership, founded by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

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


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


Orange County Public Schools Approves Recess Resolution

recess slideIf your child attends an Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) elementary school, recess may look different this school year.

On June 23, the OCPS School Board unanimously passed a resolution encouraging 20 minutes of daily recess for all OCPS elementary schools.  The resolution does not mandate recess, instead, it leaves the decision up to teachers and administration about whether or not to provide recess. However, it does recommend 20 minutes of daily recess, at least on days when students do not have a physical education class.

The approval of the recess resolution is an excellent example of the power of a parent’s voice.  Last year, parents who were upset abut the lack of recess in OCPS elementary schools joined together to launch a recess petition drive. Through a successful social media campaign, education, and presentations to the school board, all OCPS elementary students will now have increased opportunities for unstructured play through recess.

The Center for Disease Control provides the following information on recess in “Strategies for Supporting Recess in Elementary Schools” (May 2014). Click here to reference this CDC document.

Recess provides students with a needed break from their structured school day. It can improve children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being, and enhance learning. Recess helps children meet the goal of 60 minutes of physical activity each day, as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. National organizations (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend that districts provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess for all students in elementary schools.

OCPS offers this webpage with five facts about recess in OCPS elementary schools.

Congratulations to the OCPS for approving this resolution.  Recess can play an important role in building healthy kids; healthy kids make better students and better students make healthy communities.