Making the Case for Prevention: Community Partnerships Benefit Students, Schools & Health

Making the Case for Prevention: Community Partnerships Benefit Students, Schools & Health

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?? Munising is a perfect example of what really works to improve the health of the
school’s environment. It’s the role of every
school not just to teach out
of a book in a classroom. We’re trying to teach kids
about life as well. And part of that is promoting
a healthy lifestyle. Providing healthy options for
them is one of the things that we can do to reach that goal. Healthy students equal
successful students. And I think that’s probably the
biggest key. We know that if they are
eating right, if they are
physically active, they’re going to do better in
school, they’re going to
score better on tests. Research has shown
that over and over. We are setting policy
that is changing the
health of our students. We actually didn’t used
to let kids drink water
in the classroom. Now we have those water-bottle
filling stations throughout
the school that kids fill up
between classes. We allow them to take water to
the classroom now knowing that they need to be properly
hydrated throughout the day. We are at about 36,000, almost
37,000, refills in water bottles
in just over a year’s time. We have a new salad
bar in our lunchroom. We serve fresh vegetables,
fresh fruits, every day. Kids love it. ?? We installed a greenhouse
this year that our students
will be involved with. We will use that greenhouse
to grow fresh produce that we will serve in our lunch
program at school. We’re trying to promote exercise
amongst our students as well. We do a walk-to-school
program, trying to promote
healthy activity that way. We try to encourage as much
athletic participation as
possible, as well. For our school district to make
a lot of these positive changes we’ve partnered with
community agencies. Our biggest partner
is the Sault Tribe. We connected the schools
with the local government to form coordinated school
health teams to develop, implement, monitor, and
evaluate an action plan, and brought together
tremendous resources even
in this rural area. If you want to have a more
well-rounded student, a student doing better in
the classroom, I think you should start promoting
these healthy initiatives
in your school. We didn’t start off big. We started off very, very small.
And it’s just kind of grown, and you just kind of tap
into whoever in your
community can help you. Those people are out there. You
just need to find them.

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