Welcome to

Schools Strategy

 

WALK! BIKE! FUN!

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The Minnesota Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum is a two-part curriculum designed specifically for Minnesota's schools and youth education programs. This curriculum meets Minnesota Physical Education Standards and Benchmarks.

Helps children of all abilities ages five to 13 learn traffic rules and regulations, the potential hazards to traveling, and handling skills needed to bike and walk effectively, appropriately and safely through their community. 

ACTIVE SCHOOLS- BRAIN BREAKS

Movement increases brain function. Physical activity increases blood flow which brings more oxygen, water and glucose to the brain and leads to improved concentration. Physical activity also increases endorphins, which have a positive effect on mood. As a result, Active Kids Learn Better. 

There are several activities that can contribute to an active classroom:

  • Morning walk up warm up activities 

  • Classroom physical activity breaks (also known as brain breaks, brain boosters or energizers)

  • Integrating physical activity into classroom instruction, including walking while learning

  • Yoga

  • Pedal desks

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SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

SRTS provides students with the opportunities to walk or bike to schools by identifying and supporting safer routes for them to get to and from school through intentional planning by school and community partners. Successful implementation of this activity includes activities such as implementing the Walk! Bike! Fun!, providing bicycle fleets for school programming, participating in "Walk to School" or Bike Trains to School" opportunities, and creating safer routes plans to walk and bike to school for families. 

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ACTIVE RECESS

Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. Engaging students in physical activity during recess provides them with fun, safe and active play. 

ACTIVE SCHOOLS QUALITY PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical education teaches self-management and motor skills that help children adopt healthy living practices and manage their day-to-day activities. 

A quality physical education program includes the opportunity to learn, meaningful content, appropriate instruction and program assessment. Some operationalized strategies for this activity include enhancing physical education programming that results in a new or updated standards-based curriculum, inclusion of new or innovative units that reduce activities where students are sitting out, adding or enhancing a fitness education and assessment component to help children understand, improve and-or maintain physical fitness, and including physical education expectations as part of the school wellness policy. 

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ACTIVE SCHOOLS- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE AND/OR AFTER SCHOOL

Physical Activity opportunities before or after school play a vital role in assisting students to fulfill 60 or more minutes for their recommended daily physical activity. Successful implementation of this activity increases physical activity options through formal programming such as intramural, interscholastic sports or activity clubs as well as informal opportunities such as open gyms that provide multiple physical activity options for students. 

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ACTIVE SCHOOLS- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE AND/OR AFTER SCHOOL

Physical Activity opportunities before or after school play a vital role in assisting students to fulfill 60 or more minutes for their recommended daily physical activity. Successful implementation of this activity increases physical activity options through formal programming such as intramural, interscholastic sports or activity clubs as well as informal opportunities such as open gyms that provide multiple physical activity options for students. 

Youth Physical Activity The Role of Scho
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FARM TO SCHOOL

What is Farm to School?

Farm to School programs (sometimes referred to as "F2S" connect schools and local farms so that school cafeteria are able to serve fresher and more nutritious meals using locally produced food. While different in each community, farm to school programs are generally created:

  • Help students eat more nutritious foods and develop healthier lifelong eating patterns. 

  • Support the local economy and local farmers.

  • Integrate food-related education into the classroom curriculum. 

 

Students who eat well learn better. Farm to School activities aim to increase the number of fruits and vegetables children eat during the school day while also lowering their intake of sodium, saturated fat and added sugar. Farm to School encompasses changes within the classroom, curriculum and community. Children have increased access to minimally processed, local food and an environment conducive to learning about how food is grown and good nutrition is created. Some operationalized activities include cafeteria menu changes with local sourcing, harvest bar implementation. 

Toolkit Resource

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Check out University of Minnesota Extension's Website

Additional Resources

Minnesota Agriculture in the classroom (AITC) 

This is program that seeks to improve student achievement by applying authentic, agricultural-based content as the context to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts and nutrition. By encouraging teachers to embed agriculture into their classroom, AITC cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on every day.

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National Farm to School Network

The National Farm to School Network is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools and early care and education settings. 

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Minnesota Department of Education Farm to School Resource

Click on this document to find a list of resources across the state to help move your Farm to School efforts forward!

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

The Farm to School Youth Leadership Curriculum is comprised of six lessons that can be taught over consecutively over a semester or as a single lessons or activities to complement other classes. 

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Renewing the Countryside

Renewing the Countryside strengthens rural areas by supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. 

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Minnesota Department of Education Farm to School Resource List

Click on this document to find a list of resources, organizations, champions and who are working on farm to school in their area. 

The Farm to School Census

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) formally established a Farm to School Program within USDA to improve access to local foods in schools. In order to establish realistic goals with regards to increasing the availability of local foods in schools in 2013, USDA conducted the first nationwide Farm to School Census. In 2019, USDA conducted a third Farm to School Census to measure progress towards reaching this goal. 

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I Dig My Farmer Promotional Materials

Here you will find free "I Dig My Farmer" resources to help you promote your Farm to School program. These customizable materials will allow you to feature and celebrate your local farmers and their products. We hope you will find these materials useful for your Farm to School Month Celebrations and throughout the year!

SCHOOL GARDENS

Students who are invested in where their food comes from and how it is produced are more likely to consume these items. School-based agriculture aims to increase the number of fruits and vegetables children consume while also lowering their intake of sodium, saturated fat and added sugar by incorporating hands-on learning through schoolyard gardening activities. This includes the use of outdoor learning laboratories, indoor growth chambers,  on-site greenhouse or hoop hoses as well as incorporation of these elements into the school curriculum such as FACS or FFA classes. 

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Healthy Snacks Outside of the School Day-Vending Machine

The USDA defines the school day from midnight to 30 minutes after the bell rings at the conclusion of school. This activity pursues the after-school until midnight targeting venues such as snack carts, vending, concessions, school store, fundraising and celebration/parties/special events. 

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Check out Action For Health Kids' Website

Healthy Snacks Outside of the School Day-Vending Machine

The USDA defines the school day from midnight to 30 minutes after the bell rings at the conclusion of school. This activity pursues the after-school until midnight targeting venues such as snack carts, vending, concessions, school store, fundraising and celebration/parties/special events. 

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Check out Action For Health Kids' Website

Healthy Snacks Outside of the School Day-Vending Machine

The USDA defines the school day from midnight to 30 minutes after the bell rings at the conclusion of school. This activity pursues the after-school until midnight targeting venues such as snack carts, vending, concessions, school store, fundraising and celebration/parties/special events. 

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Check out Action For Health Kids' Website

Check out Action For Health Kids' Website for Healthy Fundraising Ideas

Healthy Snacks Outside of the School Day- Fundraising

Healthy Snacks During the School Day

Smart Snacks in School federal legislation established nutritional standards for all competitive food and beverages sold in schools during the school day. The final rule was issued on July 1, 2014, with the goal o eliminating unhealthy foods/beverages sold accessible to students during the school day in vending machines, snack bars, a la carte and other foods sold outside of the federally-reimbursed school meal program. 

Improving the nutritional content/value of snacks available in schools may also directly impact students' eating behaviors, as research shoes that over 40 percent of young people of a snack at school. The USDA Smart Snacks rule however, does not cover foods or beverages that may be available during the school day as food rewards, snacks during celebrations/parties or special events where these items are given to students or made available but not sold. That is where implementation of this activity will be unique to each school site/district 

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Classroom  Snacks/Lunchbox Ideas/Healthy Classroom Celebration/Healthy Concession Stands

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Food Rewards in the Classroom/Non-Food Rewards

Classroom Celebrations/Parties

Family Engagement

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Parent Engagement Survey

Promoting Parent Engagement in School Health

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Promoting Parent Engagement School

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Spring Board to Active Schools

Parents for Healthy Schools

Parent Engagement Strategies for School Health-CDC

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Start Simple with MyPlate

MyPlate is reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. This means:

  • Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition

  • Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. 

  • Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles. 

  • Support healthy eating for everyone. 

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. 

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