HEB Community Challenge: A Statewide Healthy Lifestyle Initiative of It’s Time Texas



Competitions like the HEB Community Challenge prompt communities to make healthy lifestyle changes, and help raise awareness of childhood obesity. In 2012, a total of 38 mayors across Texas and several school officials recorded videos asking members of their community to participate in this state wide challenge. A total of 324 communities were enlisted in the challenge and 14,517 individuals were engaged in the effort to make their community a healthier one. At the end of the competition the winning cities of the challenge were San Antonio, Brownsville, and Pflugerville. This video showcases the top nine scoring communities in the H-E-B Community Challenge. One winner was selected from a small, medium, or large city. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4sdcm2qUsw Not only did the Healthy ...

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Houston ISD Drafting New Wellness Policy



Houston Independent School District (HISD) in Texas is further addressing the growing issue of childhood obesity by creating a well rounded wellness policy. "The new Houston ISD wellness policy, currently being drafted by the School Health Advisory Council [SHAC], will directly address the use of food as a classroom reward (as well the equally distressing use of exercise as a punishment)." says Bettina Siegel, author of the blog The Lunch Tray The USDA has been increasing policies on school foods and competitive foods, by making nutrition standards for school meals in the past, and are currently creating standards for competitive foods in school snack lines. However schools or districts themselves must take the next steps in changing their policies on standards for fundraisers, ...

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20 Minutes of Guaranteed Recess for Children Approved by New Jersey Senate



According to a news report, The Association for Childhood Education International estimates that 40% of US schools have reduced or eliminated recess and this number may be even higher among high-minority, underserved populations. Although, recess is a vital component of a child's development and physical activity time, students are not always provided with recess on a daily basis. Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) of New Jersey recently sponsored a bill that would guarantee children at least 20 minutes a day of recess time. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, children should be getting at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity. In this App.com op-ed, three individuals discuss their support for ...

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A Program to Recognize Texas Public Schools With Successful Health and Fitness Programs



At the 2013 Texas Legislature, Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) introduced SB 65, as a way to recognize schools for creating a healthy environment. If this bill were to be enacted schools would be recognized with a bronze, silver, or gold, award according to the success of their school's fitness program. Private and non-profit entities would be allowed to provide donations and incentives to schools that receive healthy school recognition. According to the Texas Legislature Online, SB 65 was referred to public education and no action was taken in committee. Read the full text to SB 65, which would have provided recognition to schools with a healthy school ...

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A Requirement for Six Semesters of Physical Activity at Middle Schools in Texas



In February of 2013, Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) filed SB 525, a bill that would increase physical activity requirements for middle school students (grades 6-8th). Students would be required to take six semesters of physical activity rather than the current requirement of only four semesters. Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) filed a companion bill HB 277, which includes the same provisions as SB 525. The bills, which would increase physical education requirements for students and require at least 30 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, 135 minutes per week, or (if the district uses block scheduling) 225 minutes of bi-weekly physical activity, failed to pass during the 2013 Legislative ...

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An Elementary Classroom’s Plea for More Recess



Ms. Wells’s second grade class in Fort Mills, South Carolina, wrote a letter to the Fort Mills Times editor, explaining their desire to have a second recess period at their school. In the letter they explain that more physical activity time will improve their ability to "focus better" in their classroom. Read the letter that Ms. Wells's class sent to the editor of the Fort Mills ...

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Washington Schools Improving Nutrition through New Wellness Policy



Schools in Wenatchee School District, Wa., will be seeing healthier meals in their lunch rooms and an improved effort to change the way food is used throughout the school day. The District's food service director, Kent Getzin, is focusing on encouraging students to try new foods, showing students where foods come from, and changing the way food is used in the school as reward or fund raising opportunities. “It comes back to our philosophy about our kids being healthy, and eating well, and the impact that has on learning,” said Superintendent Brian Flones, in The Wenatchee World article , “Like any other life skill, kids need to learn early what’s going to be best for them. And if we’re not modeling it with what we do at school, they’re going to probably leave with a lot ...

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Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables (Parents United for Healthy Schools) Learn to Bring Healthy Changes to Chicago Schools



Parent role models from the Chicago area are getting involved at schools to improve the health of their children, through the Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC). According to HSC parents United for Healthy Schools (PUHS)/ Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables is a Coalition of parents and community members who work to create healthy school environments for the city’s children, particularly those in low-income minority communities. In this video Karina, a mother and member of PUHS, talks about how PUHS gave her the tools she needed to become an active parent leader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ON9Ffl3Z0 In March of 2012, PUHS decided to form a school wellness team at the Greene Elementary School in Chicago to improve the heath of their children. The school hosted their first ...

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