Comprehensive Toolkit On Competitive Foods



Voices for Health Kids has put together a comprehensive toolkit on Competitive Foods. The toolkit includes the 100+ page Master toolkit, "Make Food Choices an Easy A," which includes sections on recruiting, engaging, and mobilizing advocates to fight for healthier school foods. By engaging, organizing and mobilizing communities across the country, Voices for Healthy Kids aims to ensure that every child has access to healthy foods and drinks at home and in school, safe streets for biking and walking and safe places to play after school. This toolkit is designed to help coalitions educate their communities on ways to make this vision a reality. Along with the Master Toolkit there are fact sheets to give to advocates and decision makers, flyers, postcards, web banners, print ads, ...

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Smart Snacks Product Calculator



The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has launched it's Smart Snacks Product Calculator. This tool makes it easy for individuals or schools to evaluate products based on the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines. The user can simply enter the product information, answer a few questions, and the calculator will determine whether your snack, side or entrée item meets the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines. Results from this calculator have been approved and determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be an accurate product assessment for it's compliance with the federal requirements for Smart Snacks in School. In addition to the calculator, the Alliance Product Navigator now features snack, side, entrée and beverage products that meet the USDA ...

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Community Leaders Team Up with Schools to Bring PE to San Francisco Students



Shape Up San Francisco, a coalition of community leaders, wanted to know if kids in San Francisco were meeting state requirements for time spent in PE. They convened a group called the PE Advocates and began to study 20 elementary, four middle, and four high schools. After learning that almost 80% of elementary schools were not getting enough PE time, Shape Up SF’s PE Advocates partnered with school officials to develop a plan to change this. Now, thanks to the partnership, the district has 38 PE specialists to train teachers in the skills needed to provide students with quality PE. EMERGENCE Awareness: Local health advocates Christina Goette and Marianne Szeto were concerned about the city’s growing childhood obesity rates and health disparities. The number of overweight ...

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Alicia Gonzalez Helps Kids Get Moving with Chicago Run



Alicia Gonzalez, a young Latina with experience in community development, was eager to keep kids stay active, given the rise of local obesity. She partnered up with a local family foundation who wanted to start a running program. The result was Chicago Run a non-profit incentive based program which has promoted running to over 13,000 children. EMERGENCE Awareness: Chicago resident Alicia Gonzalez enjoys improving the quality of life in her community. She has experience teaching Latino youth about AIDS, mentoring inner-city kids in Boston, and building private-sector partnerships to better people’s lives through asset-based community development (ABCD)—an approach to community development that emphasizes a community’s assets rather than its deficits. Several years ago, she was ...

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Parents Ditch Cookie-Dough for 5K Fundraisers


withers5K

Year after year when it came time for the annual fundraiser at Withers Elementary School in Dallas, students were forced to sell unhealthy products like cookie dough. When Becky Heller became PTA president, she and other parents decided that it was time to stop unhealthy fundraisers. Heller and a team of motivated parents took a “giant leap of faith” and organized a 5K in lieu of the unhealthy products—and not only did they meet their fundraising goal, they far exceeded it. Inactivity a growing problem Becky Heller, a parent with children at Withers Elementary—a dual-language learning school with an 82.6% Latino student population located in northwest Dallas—knew that childhood obesity and physical inactivity was a growing problem. After learning about the first ...

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Wisconsin Rep. Authors Bill to Require 30 Minutes of Daily PE



According to a Fox-11 report, Rep. Chad Weininger (R-Allouez) has drafted a bill that would require elementary students in Wisconsin to participate in at least 30 minutes if daily physical education. The bill called the Get Youth Moving (Gym) Act and would boost students' PE requirements from three days a week to five days a week. According to this report local health organizations and the Wisconsin Parent Teachers Association are in support of this bill. The bill is scheduled to be introduced to the House of Representatives in early ...

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Houston Coach Brings Sports, Afterschool Programs, & Health Councils to Students



Kids at Westwood Elementary School in Houston lacked programs to keep them active after classes ended each day. Samuel Karns, a health fitness instructor/coach at Westwood, decided to step up to the challenge and find a way to bring more exercise and sport related activities to keep his students moving. His work resulted in a series of afterschool fitness clubs, an afterschool intermural sports program, a student-led school health advisory council (K-SHAC) for elementary-school students, an action based learning lab and a one-of-a-kind district-wide initiative to bring physical activity to sixth-graders. Emergence Awareness: In fall 2009, Samuel Karns was only a few months into his job as a health fitness instructor/coach at Westwood Elementary School in the Spring Branch ...

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Brain Breaks & Afterschool Clubs Bring Physical Activity to Middle Schoolers



Principal Matt Pope wanted to make a difference in the lives of the children at DJ Red Simon Middle School in Kyle, Texas, just south of Austin. When he found out that Simon students had among the highest obesity rates in the district, he immediately took action to introduce healthy changes to the students. The school eliminated junk food on campus and at concession stands and encouraged students to eat at least one fruit or vegetable during breakfast and lunch. They also implemented a policy to require PE for all, brain breaks throughout the day and—at the request of students—afterschool clubs to keep them active. EMERGENCE Awareness: Middle-school teachers face enormous responsibilities—meeting high academic standards, preparing students for real-world challenges, and ...

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Teamwork Brings Shared Use Agreements and New Park to Earlimart, Calif.



After years of trying to land a new park, residents of Earlimart, Calif., can now celebrate the success of a shared use agreement and soon-to-be-built 4-acre park. Residents living in the small rural community of Earlimart, Calif., lacked outdoor spaces for the physical activity they needed to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles and weights. The Earlimart School District’s superintendent responded to this need by trying an experiment. She had the custodial staff at one school leave the school gate open. Word got around that the school’s gate had been left open—soon the school’s field was filled with local residents. This experiment ultimately led to a change in the school district’s policy, which allows Tulare county residents from non-affiliated groups to use the school ...

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