Charter School Hubs Boost Students Perception of Health


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Bilingual efforts in educating students about the benefits of living a healthy life are changing Colorado (21.3% Latino) charter schools statewide.

The Colorado Health Foundation joined up with the Colorado League of Charter Schools to focus on health and wellness in schools.

The way the program works is allowing nearby charter schools to collaborate with each other and create “pods” that are more sustainable, Rainey Wikstrom explained to Watchdog.

Working in school wellness since 2004, Wikstrom has since then been a leader in increasing healthier school food, physical activity and teacher training for schools in the area.

The program creates these hubs of health, allowing up to three charter schools to write a grant together, collaborate with each other and see what models work best for wellness within their charter school.

A coordinator or Wellness Advisor, hired by a collaboration of six to eight charter schools also helps in collecting data and directing schools on which programs work best.

The new program grants have allowed children to grow fruits and vegetables in their own school gardens, eat the food they grow, and learn about healthy lifestyles in their own language since 2013.

This is vital to youth who eat more than half of their daily calories at school, and often deal with less access to fresh fruits and vegetables in majority-Latino schools.

Gardening at young ages may also help kids consume more vegetables in the future recent research reveals.

Having wellness programs that work together and share resources is a viable way to improve schools and increase awareness to students about the benefits of living a healthy life, in school and in their future.

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By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs

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