The mission of Chesnut’s new PTA Wellness Team is to promote and encourage healthy habits for students, families, faculty and staff of Chesnut Charter Elementary School in support of DeKalb County’s Wellness Policy. We regard health as a state of physical, mental and emotional wellness that leads to greater success inside and out of the classroom.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation suggests that an effective Wellness group have about a dozen participants, and Chesnut’s Wellness Team has more than 20, including our principal Ms. Veronica Williams, our school nurse, our health/PE coach, several teachers, our cafeteria manager and a dozen parents. Want to join us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what are we up to, and how can you get involved?
1. Ecology Club, Farm to School and Gardening programs report to PTA Wellness Team. Garden Leader Carissa Malone has already started hosting classes in the garden (more on that in a later blog post).
2. We are working with Coach Dykema to launch a pilot nutrition unit (one week of Farm to School-influenced nutrition lesson plans) for all PE classes, aiming for October surrounding Food Day.
3. We have reached out to parents requesting their support for “healthy celebrations” to get away from sugary snacks and drinks.
4. Fourth grade teacher Mr. Ian Shiverick is leading the implementation of the new Cougar Kudos program, which, in compliance with DeKalb County’s Wellness Policy, encourages teachers and staff to replace food rewards (i.e., candy, ice cream parties) with “kudos” that the children may earn for good behavior. Every two weeks, the leading class chooses a fun and healthy reward from a list we are compiling, such as free choice in P.E., Crazy Hat Day, etc. If you are willing to host a special craft or activity as an incentive for a winning class, please email your ideas to email@example.com.
5. We are talking with PTA event planners to implement healthy food and drink choice. If you want to see healthier foods at BINGO night, Family Dinner night, Valentine’s Family Celebration, etc., please volunteer to help staff these events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. We have joined the Healthy Halls Wellness Program, developed by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This research-based program promotes Strong4Life Healthy Habits (http://strong4life.com/) to elementary school students, their parents and school staff. Next week our students will attend a curriculum-based, dynamic Healthy Halls theatrical performance, focusing on four healthy habits:
- Make 1/2 your plate veggies and fruits
- Be active for 60 minutes
- Limit screen time to one hour
- Drink more water and limit sugary drinks
7. We are polling parents to find out how we can improve Chesnut’s school lunch. If you haven’t yet, please take the 10-question survey (it’s really quick!) and weigh in: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DNQ5CNS.
8. We are brainstorming ways to encourage biking and walking to Chesnut, working with Safe Routes to School and Walk to School parent coordinators.
This group is excited about increasing opportunities for nutrition education, physical activity, emotional well-being and the encouragement of healthy habits for our community. If you have suggestions or want to get involved, please email email@example.com.