Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Pennsylvania School Is on Guard Against Unhealthy Eating Habits: The William D. Kelley School in Philadelphia is taking a comprehensive approach to battling obesity by banning soda and sweet snacks and emphasizing healthy eating in the curriculum. In addition, the principal and parents have asked nearby stores to stop selling junk food to children in the morning so they will eat a healthier breakfast.

How to Stop Bullying: In the current issue of ASCD Express, educators discuss bullying and how it affects students, and they offer advice on how to prevent harassment and create a safe and comfortable learning environment.

Study Looks at Why Boys Don't Get Enough Exercise: A study in the Journal of School Nursing found that most 6th grade boys don't get one hour of daily exercise because of environmental factors, such as a lack of equipment and limited space, as well as a lack of motivation. The boys also reported a preference for screen time over exercise, according to the researchers.

Schools Find Ways to Help Students Eat a Healthy Breakfast: California schools want to help children find time to eat a healthy breakfast, and Good Hope Elementary School found success with a program that delivers breakfast to students each morning during the first 10 minutes of class. School officials said they hope the program will also lead to improved academic performance.


New ASCD Publication Outlines the Healthy School Communities Model: ASCD announces its recently published resource The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health & Education in the School Setting. This publication sets out the need for health and education to be better aligned in the school setting and describes steps—or levers—for helping make this happen. It proposes a change in the way we have typically viewed health and education and the role of schools in the development of the whole child. The premise for this publication arose out of the continued existence of barriers to truly aligning health and education in the school setting. Great strides have been taken and implemented through the coordinated school health model; however its impact up to now has, too often, been sporadic, temporary, or marginal. Comments and discussions concerning this publication can be directed to the ASCD EDge HSC Discussion Board.

Make the Case Locally for Whole Child Education: Use the new editable form to insert your school or district's story into the newly updated Making the Case for Educating the Whole Child document, and use it to let decision makers in your community understand the difference a whole child education can make. Get further instructions and links to data sources to include in your story.

Promoting a "No Fault" Framework for School Climate Reform: Jonathan Cohen, president of whole child partner the National School Climate Center, talks about avoiding the blame game among school personnel and learning from mistakes to focus on the task of supporting students' learning and healthy development.

Take Action

Run for Something Better Program: Global financial institution ING and whole child partner the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) have partnered to promote the ING Run for Something Better School Awards Program. Funding will be given to schools that desire to establish a school-based running program or expand an existing one, to help fight childhood obesity and introduce youth to the benefits of running. A minimum of 50 grants will be awarded to selected applicants for $2,500 each. Deadline: May 1, 2011.

2011 PEP Grants Call for Applications: The Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) awards millions of dollars to schools and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, and improve K–12 physical education programs. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. Deadline: May 13, 2011.

Important: Funding for PEP is in jeopardy due to the current budget environment. Send a letter to Congress today to show your support.

Discussion on How to Sustain School-Connected Mental Health: Join an online conversation from March 28 through April 15 about efforts to improve child health and education outcomes through school-connected mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention programs. The ideas, examples, and stories you and your colleagues share in this forum will inform the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's efforts to build a new national initiative to improve mental health services in schools.

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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