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.
Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference posted on Jul 25
In the six years from 2008 through 2013, 356 workers died on the job in Massachusetts. This is about one worker every five days! The MDPH CFOI and MA FACE projects developed this infographic to illustrate these tragic worker deaths and to underscore the human costs …Continue Reading Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference
Making Your Summer POP! posted on Jul 19
Few things are better than an ice-cold popsicle on a hot summer day! I have vivid memories from my childhood running around through the sprinkler and various neighbors’ yards enjoying the summer sun. At that age, having a messy red ring around your mouth from …Continue Reading Making Your Summer POP!
Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces posted on Jul 18
Wellness programs are good for business. They can lead to better performing workers, lower absenteeism and decreased healthcare and insurance costs. Now, small businesses can be rewarded for these efforts! The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Incentive gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit …Continue Reading Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces