Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Prohibition or Modeling of Good Nutrition?: In an online article, author Hank Cardello compares prohibition of selling junk food in schools to the nationwide prohibition of alcohol consumption in the 1920s. He claims that schools are wasting their efforts on an idea that won't work and only opens up the opportunity for black market candy selling. While this comparison seems a bit of a stretch, do you think Cardello has missed the point about the role of schools in modeling, teaching, and providing good nutrition? Or do you agree with Cardello's viewpoint that completely eliminating these foods doesn't teach students anything? Share your thoughts on ASCD EDge.

Share Our Strength Surveys Teachers on Student Hunger: According to a new report from Share Our Strength, 86 percent of teachers say many of their students are coming to school hungry, and 40 percent of teachers say that hunger is one of the biggest problems they face. Teachers are seeing evidence of a strong link between eating breakfast and learning among the children in their classrooms. Read more.

Better School Nutrition Needs Student Buy-In: Providing healthier foods for students has become a national priority with First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign and new nutritional requirements for school lunches, but getting students on board can be a challenge. The Oceanside Unified School District in California created its own food brand to package healthy foods to look like their unhealthy brand counterparts, while Chef Tom French of the Experience Food Project in Washington uses student tasting panels to gather feedback and make adjustments to the menu.


Free Online Violence Prevention Course: This free course, which includes a section on youth violence, is designed for advocates of nonviolent approaches. It teaches the fundamentals of effective violence prevention methods and incorporates the growing body of research on what works.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Shares Youth Bullying and Violence Prevention Resource: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently added a new resource for LGBT youth on bullying prevention, including LGBT students' experiences with violence, the effects violence has on education and health, and details on what both parents and schools can do in support of LGBT youth.

Health: A 21st Century Skill: Share this video that features the poem, "An Apple a Day Is Not Enough," written by Taylor Mali for Health Teacher, an online health education resource.

Take Action

Are You an Emerging Leader?: ASCD Emerging Leaders are educators who have been in the profession for 5–15 years and demonstrate their passion for learning, teaching, and leadership through ASCD's comprehensive two-year program. Emerging leaders pursue a variety of leadership paths, including getting more involved in education policy, writing for ASCD, pursuing leadership positions with ASCD governance and constituent groups, and supporting the Whole Child Initiative. Learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program and apply online now through April 15, 2011.

Sodexo Foundation Offers School Engagement Grant: The School Engagement Grant is designed to address the issue of childhood hunger in the United States. This grant will fund programs that engage K–12 teachers and students in learning about childhood hunger in their communities through a service-learning "Semester of Service" project. Deadline: March 18, 2011.

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Offers Health and Education Grants: The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is committed to transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through better health and education. Grants are primarily made in the areas of childhood health, education, and family economic stability.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

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