Changing the Scene
Hodge Healthy Family Challenge
[Children] …who face violence, hunger, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy, and despair cannot possibly focus on academic excellence. There is no curriculum brilliant enough to compensate for a hungry stomach or a distracted mind.
American Cancer Society, National Action Plan for Comprehensive School Health Education, 1992
Schools are under high pressure to demonstrate academic success with competing priorities, yet critical issues are impacting the health of school-aged students. In response to these critical issues, the Student Wellness Committee with support from the Hodge Elementary Healthy School Challenge Committee has unanimously approved a program that supports coordinated school health and safety programs and initiatives. The Denton Independent School District recognizes that coordinated school health and safety programs and initiatives can positively impact student academic achievement and empower students with the knowledge, skills, and judgment essential to make healthy and responsible choices in life. The School Board encourages all schools within the district to adopt school health and safety programs that will assist them in ensuring that students are healthy and able to academically achieve. Both research and common sense tell us that when students are fit, healthy, and ready to learn, they achieve more success in all areas of their lives.
Adapted from: Michigan State Board of Education/Coordinated School Healthy and Safety Programs
A healthy school environment depends on policies. Schools that want to minimize hazards and distractions to teaching and learning, create a climate in which students and school staff can do their best work, and expect that all students can succeed will ensure that the necessary policies are in place.
Health Is Academic, 1998
The Wellness Program for Hodge Elementary is a coordinated school health program and integrates the components of the Michigan Healthy School Tools program and district and campus specific areas of concern, fulfilling requirements of federal law in establishing a local school wellness policy.
Ø Healthy Eating and Nutrition Education
Ø Physical Activity and Physical Education
Ø Asthma Management
Ø Food Allergy Management
Ø Air Quality/Heat Index Awareness Program
Ø Violence Injury and Prevention
Ø Lice Management Plan
Nutrition education strategies are communicated through various activities across and extending outside of the school disseminating the same consistent message.
All classroom curriculum materials have been aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills performance standards and the Texas Assessment of knowledge & Skills (TEKS & TAKS) objectives.
In the cafeteria – Posters with visual nutritional information for the food being served in school
In the classroom and beyond – The goal of the classroom lessons are to improve and optimize health and was created using social learning theory to assist children on not just understanding health knowledge but also to provide skills to practice making better food and physical activity choices. The lessons contain many activities such as making healthy snacks, reading food labels and teaching children about good nutrition using the Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum. The classroom lessons extend into the children’s homes with homework assignments designed to include the family in nutrition education.
The primary focus is for the school to provide quality physical education in which students engage in maximum amounts of enjoyable MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) during class time. Activities provide appropriate and effective class management and instructional methods.
School based activities designed to promote student wellness
Several school based activities to not only promote student wellness, but also to help incorporate the community and families in our schools’ efforts to achieve a healthier school environment. Examples are:
The school follows the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy which guides the effort in reducing childhood obesity by stating specific guidelines on availability and sale of competitive foods, as well as portion size limitations on certain items.
In addition to following the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy, our district further strives to reduce the fat, saturated fat, and sodium content of our school meals by utilizing smart eating guides which helps lead healthier menu planning, food purchasing, and food preparation techniques.
Evaluation instruments listed in the Michigan Healthy Schools Tools were used to assist us with evaluating our health program as well as activity/nutrition logs that will be sent home to track participation.
Our existing School health Advisory Council (SHAC), our Hodge Healthy Family committee, Student Wellness Committee, and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) are instrumental in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluation the program
ü Fuel Up to Play 60 will be fully implemented throughout the school.
ü Student Wellness Committee with limited assistance from the Healthy Family Committee will be in charge of all fitness/nutrition events.
ü Teachers will utilize the Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum to teach health and nutrition in the classroom.
ü There will be a 30% increase in breakfast attendance at school
ü Second serving line will is in-service to reduce time in line and increase time to eat
ü Fruit and Vegetables only snacks in select classrooms; to be phased in throughout the school.
ü Healthy alternatives for school celebrations, rewards, fundraisers and snacks implemented.
ü Healthy Department will teach Lice Prevention Class
ü Food Allergy education class will be taught to students with life threatening allergies and a “PAL”.
ü Air Quality/Heat Index program will be fully implemented
ü Open Airways Asthma Awareness classes will be held.
ü Program will be phased in to other schools within the district.
o University Nutrition interns taught nutrition classes in the classroom. This program will be on-going.
o Teachers are using nutrition classes to supplement scheduled heath classes.
o University Dental Hygiene interns will teach classes in the classroom.
National School Lunch Week activities, school wide
o Parents invited to have lunch with their children and support healthy eating habits.
o Educational material and healthy family activities sent home to involve the entire family.
National Healthy Breakfast Week activities
o A Fun Run held during recess, with warm-up exercises, healthy snacks and water.
o Students completing in National and local contests.
o Local celebrities and athletes, including the Mayor, a State Representative, the School Board, and the Publisher of the Denton Record and Chronicle invited to join us at breakfast.
Healthy Family Night
An evening of fun, physical activities, information about family nutrition and fitness, ideas and resources. Topics include: suggestions for healthy snacks, ideas for meals that are nutritious and low cost, what's in it--looking at nutrition facts on packaging, eat your colors and fitness ideas for home and school, be an advocate for healthy children, make healthy choices fun and positive.
David Goff, MD is a local Pediatrician acting as a consultant and guest speaker. He met with our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to discuss healthy living habits. Plans are in place to make this an annual event.
Frenchy of Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree service a well respected member of the community and member of the Adopt a School Program, assisted with advertising our Healthy Program through his contacts and with signage on his vehicles.
Caleb F. O'Rear, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Denton Regional Medical Center
Partnerships for Healthy living programs
Glenna G Harris, MD, FAAP
Trustee Denton ISD
School Board support of program and keeping them apprised of on-going progress
Myra Crowover, State Representative
Parent and Teacher Association, campus and Community