Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


School Trains Sixth Graders in CPR: A Massachusetts school spent the last two days before winter break training 6th-grade students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich Maneuver, and other life-saving techniques. The curriculum, usually taught in 9th grade, has been simplified to train more individuals. "This is a new and innovative program that we hope will really catch on in other surrounding communities," a lieutenant with the fire department said.

Developing Emotional Resiliency Could Benefit Stressed Teachers: Teaching is a stressful profession and the retention rate—especially in struggling schools—often is low, says a school-improvement coach. Elena Aguilar writes that teachers would benefit from developing emotional resilience—knowing when to let go and how to adapt to stressful situations. She recommends that building these emotional skills be incorporated into teachers' professional development and cites research that shows mentoring and collaborating could help, too.

Why Do We Need Physical Education in Schools? Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade illustrates the two sides of the debate in his blog post on the Whole Child website. Although research shows that healthier students learn better, there are others out there who seem to believe PE and recess are a waste of classroom time. Go to ASCD EDge and tell us how you defend the role of physical education and physical activity in your school.


Mental Health Resources for Schools: The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA provides a free online toolkit, Practitioner and Professional Development: Virtual Toolbox for Mental Health in Schools, that reflects on the role of mental health in the well-being of students for school personnel involved in preservice and inservice professional development.

Take Action

Get Nutrition Education in Your Classrooms: Attend this free 45-minute webinar on Wednesday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m. pacific time, 6:00 p.m., eastern time, from SPARK, a whole child partner, to learn how you can integrate nutrition education into other core subject areas like math, science, language arts, and physical education. Register now!

Get Into It and Fight Childhood Obesity: Special Olympics and Youth Service America is offering Get Into It grants. The purpose is to bring together students of all abilities to fight childhood obesity in their schools and communities. The Get Into It curriculum helps to develop a service-learning program that gives youth the opportunity to make a change by creating and implementing local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. Maximum award: $1,000. Eligibility: U.S.-based teams that include a teacher and a unified pair of students (one with and one without an intellectual disability). Deadline: January 19, 2011.

Excellence in Summer Learning Award: Whole child partner the National Summer Learning Association will be awarding its Excellence in Summer Learning Award to an outstanding summer program that "demonstrates excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive development for young people between kindergarten and 12th grade." Award winners will receive national recognition, increased press opportunities, conference presentations and complimentary registrations, professional development opportunities for staff, and increased publishing opportunities. Public or private organizations or agencies (schools, community-based organizations, libraries, universities, faith-based organizations, etc.) serving young people between the ages of kindergarten and 12th grade over the summer months are eligible to apply. Deadline: February 11, 2011.

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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