CDC Report: 2014 State Indicator on Physical Activity



This report highlights how levels of physical activity differ by state. It also points out how states compare to each other in regards to environmental and policy strategies used to encourage physical activity. Things like: policy guidance on shared use agreements at the state level; having access to parks, recreation centers, and sidewalks living within 1/2 mile of a park; increasing time spent doing moderate-vigorous physical activity; requiring recess; and getting kids to walk and bike to school are all recommended as ways to increase levels of physical activity. Access the full report ...

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New Legislation: Summer Meals Act



The Summer Nutrition Programs ensure that low-income children have access to healthy food throughout the summer. Most Summer Nutrition Programs occur in tandem with educational and enrichment programs that keep children learning, engaged, and safe during the summer months.  The Summer Meals Act hopes to have a better integration of summer education and meals in programs that provide summer enrichment, as well as improve nutrition in rural, under-served, hard to reach areas throughout the US. You can find out more information on the legislation ...

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Recess Audit May Lead to More Active Play Time in Tennessee



School board members from Metro Nashville Public Schools hope to learn more about recess in Tennessee schools by conducting an audit. According to the Tennessean and News Channel 5 reports, recess may help kids do better; yet many schools do not provide more than 15 minutes of recess per day. In light of this, school board member Amy Frogge asked the district to evaluate recess. Tennessee law states that, schools are required to provide students with at least 90 minutes of physical activity per week. This includes time spent at recess, in PE and time for in-class physical activity breaks. If the audit finds that recess has positive effects on learning, this could lead to a district wide recess policy. This is good news for Latino kids, who often get fewer opportunities for ...

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NYC’s Move-to-Improve Program Brings Physical Activity to the Classroom



According to New York State law, elementary schools are required to provide students with at least 120 minutes of PE every week. In order to help schools meet this requirement, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) developed the Move-to-Improve classroom curriculum . Teachers who are interested in bringing Move-to-Improve (MTI) to their classroom can expect to receive: A 3-hour professional development workshop; An activity guide (for K-3 or 4-5th grade)  that integrates MTI concepts with Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) A music CD; and A stipend for participating. Schools with at least an 85% participation rate will receive a free equipment kit and recognition as a Move-to-Improve ...

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Photovoice & Partnerships Bring PE to Latinas in New Britain, Conn.



Counselors at New Britain High School were concerned about the future of Latina teens who were not passing PE and risked not graduating. Fortunately, a local nonprofit taught a group of Latina teens how to take photos and use them to inspire action—a technique called photovoice. Their efforts helped unite the nonprofit, the New Britain YWCA, and New Britain High School, who together pushed to establish an after-school PE credit recovery program. Now, Latina girls are getting the physical education they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, and the ongoing collaboration between community organizations has led to the development of a new hub for health called The House of Teens (HOT). EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: The 37% Latino town of New Britain, Conn., was struggling with obesity in 2007. ...

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School Garden Kept Alive by Students and Teachers



Highland School in Wallingford CT planted the first of their 24 garden beds in 2012. They revamped an underused tennis court to make room for the school garden, which would be used as an educational tool and to introduce students to growing their own produce. Students spend time planting, nourishing, and harvesting the garden throughout the school year, with the help of teachers who incorporate plant growth into their lessons. The garden was founded by food services director Sharlene Wong, who wanted the garden to benefit both the school and the community. Soon after implementation, Wong became increasingly busy with other school activities and was unable to maintain upkeep on the garden. Fortunately students and staff have remained vigilant in the growth and ...

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Healthy Classroom Party Ideas! from CSPI



The Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a comprehensive list of healthy school party ideas. Classroom parties can often involve candy, cake, snacks, and sweets; which are high in fat and sugar. These foods in excess lead to issues like obesity and obesity related diseases in children. But teachers and students can celebrate birthdays, accomplishments, and holidays in healthy ways! Non-food ideas involve having dance parties, extra recess, reading time, creative crafts, and party games. You can find the guide here and learn how to provide healthy celebrations for all ...

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Smarter Snacks through Smarter Vending in Ohio



In 2010 Ohio became the first state in the country to turn the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Competitive Foods and Beverages Guidelines, which outline nutritional criteria for snacks and beverages sold in school, into law. Cincinnati Public School District began to make their changes according to this law in 2010 by re-evaluating their vending machine contracts. Jessica Shelly, Food Service Director, found vending machines all over campuses throughout the district. Many were not monitored well and there was nothing being done to keep track of the many different brands/types of machines placed throughout the district. School leaders decided to wipe the slate clean, getting rid of all vending machines and putting out a new request for proposal for machines with timers and ...

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San Antonio Teachers Create Mud Runs for Latino Kids



If you’ve ever dreamed of making a difference in your community (or if you’re a kid who doesn’t mind getting a little dirty), then you’ll want to hear about the amazing mud run program, Mile Strong Kids by Fred Bailon and John Soto. Bailon and Soto, two elementary-school teachers in the majority Latino city of San Antonio, Texas, organized a one-day mud run to start “standing up to obesity.” The event was so surprisingly successful that it led to the formation of a running club and non-profit group to organize mud runs all over town. Obesity Spurs Big Idea Fred Bailon and John Soto are teachers at W.Z. “Doc” Burke Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas. About 87% of Burke students are Latino and 82.3% of the school’s population is economically disadvantaged, ...

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