Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
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What is it?
Schools are not only places of learning, but they are also worksites. Fostering school employees’ physical and mental health protects school staff, and by doing so, helps to support students’ health and academic success. Healthy school employees—including teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria and custodial staff, and contractors—are more productive and less likely to be absent. They serve as powerful role models for students and may increase their attention to students’ health. Schools can create work environments that support healthy eating, adopt active lifestyles, be tobacco free, manage stress, and avoid injury and exposure to hazards (e.g., mold, asbestos). A comprehensive school employee wellness approach is a coordinated set of programs, policies, benefits, and environmental supports designed to address multiple risk factors (e.g., lack of physical activity, tobacco use) and health conditions (e.g., diabetes, depression) to meet the health and safety needs of all employees. Partnerships between school districts and their health insurance providers can help offer resources, including personalized health assessments and flu vaccinations. Employee wellness programs and healthy work environments can improve a district’s bottom line by decreasing employee health insurance premiums, reducing employee turnover, and cutting costs of substitutes.
Ideas for Your PTA
- Consider providing opportunities for physical activity like afterschool zumba or yoga classes.
- Advocate for healthy meeting policies in your district.
- Assess nutritional value of foods provided by the PTA at all events including staff appreciation events and meetings.
- Provide on-site tools for physical activity such as exercise DVDs and equipment.
- Stock their break room or refrigerator with fruit and water a couple times a year.
- Provide tokens of teacher appreciation that aren’t food-based like collecting notes from parents and students expressing their gratitude.
- Host a step challenge and give out pedometers.
- Consider how improvements you make to your outdoor learning environment can benefit teachers such as a walking trail.
- Eat Smart Move More Resources:
- Prevention Partners’ Work Healthy America
Do you have other ideas to share? Email us at Marianne@ncpta.org!