Aloma Elementary Principal In The Park Press

Aloma pictureThe Park Press recently interviewed Principal Dr. Drew Hawkins from Aloma Elementary.  He talked about the end of this school year and what to look forward to at the beginning of next year.  Below is an excerpt taken from the article.

“Our final SAC meeting for the 2012-2013 school year will be on Tuesday, May 7 at 8:00 a.m.  We would like to thank our current SAC members for serving and appreciate their help through the year.  Potential vacancies for our SAC membership are announced in August, followed by the election of SAC members in September.  If you are interested in serving on SAC we would love to have your support.  Please keep this in mind as we look forward in planning for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, and let us know if you would like to serve on the committee.

PTA will be hosting the following events during May: Book Fair from May 3-10; Mother’s Day Cakes on May 9 and May 10; Family Night at Barducci’s at the corner of University and Goldenrod on May 15 from 5:00-9:00 p.m; and Donuts for Dads on May 31 from 8:00-8:35 a.m.  PTA will also hold a general meeting on May 9 at 6:00 p.m. prior to the musical program to elect the new board members for the 2013-2014 school year.  We would like to thank the current board for all of their hard work this year for our students, staff, and school.”

Read the full article here.

Shop Smart for Fruits and Veggies

HealthyWP0301Eating healthy is easy even if you’re on a budget.  You just need to shop smart.  There are many low-cost ways to get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies. has put together a great list of tips.  We’ve picked our 3 favorites, but for the entire list click here.

  • Celebrate The Season – Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season.  They are easy to get, have more flavor and are usually less expensive.  Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce. 
  • Keep It Simple – Buy veggies and fruits in their simplest form.  Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat and processed foods are convenient but are often much more expensive then their basic forms.
  • Plant Your Own – Start a garden – in your yard or in pots on your deck – for fresh, inexpensive and flavorful additions to meals.  Herbs, cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes are good options for beginners.
    • Visit Our Whole Community for locations on local community gardens and for information on how to start your own garden. 

Cheney Elementary’s School Garden is Growing Strong

Cheney School Garden

Students at Cheney Elementary are sprouting green thumbs along with a robust crop of tomatoes, onions and yellow peppers thanks to their new school garden.

The garden was started by Cheney’s Healthy School Team and is sponsored by Cheney’s School-Based Health Center (a Central Florida Family Health Center location) along with the Winter Park Health Foundation.  The garden was created in February and has become both a learning tool and fun activity for the students.

Gardening responsibilities are shared throughout the school.   It is loved and tended to by many students — from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade — as well as by staff from the school and the School-Based Health Center.    Students and staff planted a wide variety plants including tomatoes, onions, turnips, green and yellow peppers, sunflowers and milkweed.  The milkweed plants are especially popular because they attract Monarch butterflies.

Aside from teaching the students how to grow plants, the garden is also a useful tool in other areas as well.  The School-Based Health Center uses the garden to teach children about healthy eating and which foods are nutritious.  The garden allows children to have fun with these lessons.  Many teachers are also incorporating the garden into their lesson plans.

Cheney’s school garden is growing fast and becoming a favorite activity and learning tool for both students and teachers.  For more information on Cheney’s school garden, contact the school’s secretary at 407-672-3120.


Cheney School Garden 4Cheney School Garden 3 Cheney School Garden 2

Parents – Get Active!

Active ParentsIt is important for parents to encourage their children to be active, and the best way to inspire this behavior is to lead by example.

Being active is important for the mind and the body.  Physical activity is linked to a healthy heart, maintaining a healthy body weight, preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as sustaining proper emotional health and keeping people in a positive mood.  But many adults have trouble finding the time and motivation to fit in the proper amount of physical activity.  Experts agree that an adult should be active for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. offers these ideas to help get you started:

  1. Start activities slowly and build up over time.  If you are just starting physical activity, build up slowly. This will help prevent injuries. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
    1. Make active choices throughout the day. Every little bit of activity can add up, and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work to get in a little more walking.
    2. Use the buddy system.  Activities with friends or family are more enjoyable than doing them alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your buddies will encourage you to keep being active.
    3. Be active your way. Mix it up – there are endless ways to be active.  They include walking, biking, dancing, martial arts, gardening and playing ball.  Try out different activities to see what you like best and to add variety.
    4. Have fun!  Physical activity shouldn’t be a chore.  It can help you feel better about yourself and the way you live your life.  Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle.


Click here to see the full list.

Chilled Lemon Asparagus with Pecans

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Get Ready For FCAT


I am Ready - ChildWith FCAT less than one week away, it’s crunch time when it comes to making sure your children are prepared.  In addition to offering practice problems, there are a variety of things parents can do to make sure their children are ready for the FCAT, or any test.  Here are some suggestions:




Leading Up To FCAT


  • Exercise – Make sure your child is active during the days leading up to the FCAT.  Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  Research has proven that children who are physically fit, and exercise on a regular basis, score higher on tests.
  • Establish an Evening and Morning Routine – Set a proper bedtime and wake time leading up to the FCAT.  This will establish a routine and get your child accustomed to going to bed at the proper time and waking up with enough time to get ready for school.  Getting enough sleep allows the brain to retain information and be alert for the day.
  • Have Fun – It is important to make sure that you allow your child time to decompress and not think about the upcoming FCAT.  Test anxiety can cause children to under perform, so trying to curb some of that anxiety by allowing your child to engage in fun activities is very helpful.






Day Of Test


  • Prepare a Healthy Breakfast – It is important to offer a balanced breakfast that will sustain your child throughout the day.  Prepare a breakfast that is high in protein to keep them full throughout the morning, has complex carbohydrates such as whole grains or vegetables for a steady stream of energy that won’t make them crash and healthy fats to help absorb the foods’ nutrients.
  • Stay Hydrated – Drinking water throughout the day will help your child stay hydrated and sharp.  Staying hydrated helps people easily retain and recall information.  Send your child to school with a refillable water bottle so he or she can stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Give Words of Encouragement – Tell your child that he or she will do well on the FCAT.  Providing children with words of encouragement can have a positive effect on their self esteem.  This has been proven to help children perform better on tests.



Tips To Prepare For FCAT

FCAT Tips from WPHF on Vimeo.


Meredith Kelley, CHILL counselor at Audubon Park and Aloma Elementary, gives tips on how to help prepare your child for the FCAT.  Beyond studying, there are many things that your child can do to ensure they are mentally and physically ready to take the FCAT.  For more information on the CHILL program click here.  To view this video and our other videos, go to YouTube or Vimeo. If you would like to be featured in a video please contact Asher Levine at 407-644-2300 or email him at


The information provided on this website, and in other data sources to which it refers, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Such information is not a substitute for professional care. If you or someone you are caring for have or suspect you have a health problem, and/or wish to commence or modify any health care treatment, you should consult your own health care provider.

Health Expo at Audubon Park Elementary

audubon parkAudubon Park Elementary will host its 4th annual Health Expo on Thursday, April 8.  This year’s theme  is Sprinting to a Healthier You.

Designed to make students and families aware of ways they can live healthier lives, the Health Expo will include over 27 vendors. They will  provide information to help students and parents get physically active and eat healthy.

The Health Expo is  organized and hosted by Audubon’s Healthy School Team.  Two years ago about 200 people attended the Expo, and last year that number doubled to almost 400.  Audubon hopes to set a new record this year.

This year’s Health Expo is part of a larger Healthy Living Week that is scheduled April 8 – 12.  Each day during Healthy Living Week, Audubon is educating  students on how they can live a healthier life.  Activities planned range from an Olympic sprinter talking about exercise, to lessons on maintaining proper emotional health, good nutrition, avoiding drugs, and dental and personal hygiene.

As a special surprise for the students, the Health Expo will feature an obstacle course where students will do different physical activities while answering questions about how they can be healthy.  Parents will also have a special surprise.  By getting at least eight signatures from different vendors they visit, parents will be eligible for raffle prizes ranging from a soccer summer camp voucher to free exercise classes.

Eat More Peas with Pea and Mint Pesto

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