Welcome to

Schools Strategy

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A school wellness committee is an action-oriented advisory group that focuses on the health and well-being of students, staff, and families in a school community. The school wellness committee implements the district wellness policy and leads other health-related initiatives

School wellness committees may also:

  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of district health and wellness policies and programs

  • Advise the school board or district on related school or community health issues

  • Organize health-promoting programs or events in the district or community

Resources

School Wellness Committee Toolkit

Recruiting

Roles & Responsibilities

How to Create an Action Plan

Local Wellness Policy

 

Wellness Topics

WALK! BIKE! FUN!

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.

SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOLS

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.

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. 

ACTIVE RECESS

Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 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.

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.

HEALTHY EATING DURING AND AFTER SCHOOL

Smart Snacks in School refers to the national nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold outside of the federal reimbursable school meal programs during the school day. These items are called “competitive foods” because they can compete with participation in school meal programs.

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. 

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.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Family engagement in schools is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage parents in meaningful ways, and the parents are committed to actively supporting their children's and adolescents' learning and development.

 
 
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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. 

Image by Joshua Hoehne

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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Resources

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GO NOODLE

GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!

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ADVENTURE TO FITNESS

Stream educational videos across a wide range of core curriculum subjects as well as timing topics such as SEL, mindfulness, and STEM.

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FUEL UP TO PLAY 60

Fuel Up to Play 60, the leading in-school health and wellness program empowers students and educators to work together to build healthier schools and create healthy, high achieving students. The program offers a variety of opportunities for adults, students and schools: from in-school wellness initiatives to funding opportunities, there is something for everyone!

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HEALTH POWERED KIDS 

A collection of activities to help young people make healthy eating, exercise and life choices.

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KINDERGARTEN TO 5TH GRADE CLASSROOM ENERGIZERS

Click on image to learn more!

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HEALTHFUL LIVING CLASSROOM ENERGIZERS

Click on image to learn more!

 
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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. Watch the video below to learn more!

Image by Joshua Hoehne

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. Watch the videos below to learn more, provided to you by the Minnesota Health Department!

 
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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. 

Resources

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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. 

Resources

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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 & Directory

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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!

 
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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. 

Resources

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It is the goal of this strategy, Healthy Eating in Schools, to increase fruit and vegetables, decrease sodium, decrease saturated fat, and decrease added sugars in foods and beverages available and sold. Evidence-based activities to reach these goals include Farm to School, School-Based Agriculture, Healthy Snacks During the School Day, Healthy Snacks Outside of the School Day and implementing Smarter Lunchrooms.

Resources

Celebrations

Food & Beverage Marketing

Non-Food Rewards

Smart Snacks in School

Smart Snacks Product Calculator

Healthy/Active Parties

Wellness Policy

Kids Eat Right- Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Image by Joshua Hoehne

Need Ideas? Check Out Aitkin County Public Health on Pinterest!

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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

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