Healthy Schools

Healthy Schools:

  • Improve access to healthier food through policies that eliminate junk food and increase fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in school meals
  • Increase physical activity for students through strong physical education curriculum and varied activities for all students before, during and after the school day
  • Enhance nutrition education through a comprehensive health education program that teaches the knowledge and skills necessary to make healthy choices
  • Establish school employee wellness programs so that staff can be healthy, present at school and act as role models for students

Schools know the impact that health has on a student’s ability to learn. Making healthy changes as outlined above enable schools to increase attendance, boost math scores, increase attention, decrease discipline and nurse referrals, and address the academic achievement gap.

A healthy school creates a culture where healthy eating and physical activity are the norm and not the exception. However, even schools with strong policies and the desire to create healthier environments still face significant barriers to making these changes.

Healthy Schools and Model Communities:

CCDPH awarded Model Community grants to school districts/local education agencies that applied for the funding to create change in the school that would make it easier for their school community and families to live healthy, active lives. The schools that were awarded Model Community funding are now actively working to make two types of changes in their schools. These changes are called policy, system and environmental change strategies.

Policy, system and environmental change strategies:

Increase Active Transport to/from School, and Access to Spaces to be Physically Active:

Promote walking and biking to school through a travel plan that determines and creates safe and accessible routes. Create partnerships with schools and other community institutions to create agreements that allow children and adults access to spaces and opportunities to be physically active.

East Maine District 63 Education Foundation – TLC

Resources for School Healthy Professionals:

CCDPH partnered with Healthy Schools Campaign in an effort to make schools a healthier place to learn and work. The Healthy Schools Campaign is offering school nurses and nurses working in schools in suburban Cook County the opportunity to participate in leadership training to help implement policies and programs addressing school food, nutrition education, physical education and physical activity in schools and districts.

To learn more about how you can make your school healthier by implementing policies and programs, or to access resources for your school, please visit the Healthy Schools Campaign website: http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/schoolnurse/

RESOURCE LINKS FOR SCHOOLS