Posted by Laura York, Department of Public Health
Laura is the Director of the Coordinated School Health Program and a certified group exercise instructor/personal trainer.
Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2012 Massachusetts School Wellness Award! The awards program is a joint effort of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, It honors schools that support and promote healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco-free lifestyles among students and staff.
The winning schools received their choice of materials to support school wellness activities as well as a banner of recognition which was presented at the MA Association of School Committees and MA Association of School Superintendents Annual Joint Conference on November 7, 2012 in Hyannis. Winning schools were chosen for their efforts to develop exceptional policies and programs in the areas of Health Education, Physical Education, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Staff Wellness, and Tobacco Prevention. Find more information.
Estabrook Elementary School, Lexington
Every May, the Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington hosts the “Run of the Mill 5k” and “Jim Banks Kids Fun Run.” The event promotes the idea of running together as a family and a school and attracts over 250 participants from the community. The Kids Run, where children ages 3 to 12 run laps at the school according to age, is held prior to the 5k and then everyone is invited to stay for a post race picnic. Medals and items such as water and headbands are provided by local vendors. On the following day, a large poster is hung in the school highlighting the Estabrook students and staff who ran. The race has also motivated many teachers to start taking weekly walks or runs together after school.
South High Community School, Worcester
South High Community School in Worcester conducts a Hunger Awareness Week every year where students learn about hunger in all classes such as reading hunger literature in English class, using hunger statistics in math class, and learning about the biological effects of hunger from visiting doctors and dieticians in science class. The school chorus and band also develop a melody of songs focused on helping each other and present the songs to faculty during a lunch prepared by South food service students. During Hunger Awareness Week in 2010, students began discussing hunger in their own families and school staff realized they needed to address this challenge for their students. The South High Food Pantry was started and continues to serve 85 students and their families weekly. Food for the pantry is donated by faculty and community agencies. Additionally, all grade 9 students plant and harvest vegetables at a local farm that grows food for local food pantries.
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community