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How Your School Can Get Involved
- FORM or re-energize a Coordinated School Health Team (CSHT) (aka wellness committee) that meets regularly.
- REVIEW the local wellness policy and update it as necessary. Reconvene the wellness policy team to review your policy. You may want to combine your wellness policy team with your CSHT if you have not done that already.
- COMPLETE the Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) to assess the current environment at your school. The HSAT was developed to help Coordinated School Health Teams assess whether their school environment offers consistent messages about the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and a tobacco-free lifestyle AND opportunities for students to make healthy choices.
- USE the Healthy School Action Tools results to make policy and environmental changes.
Michigan schools reach over 1.5 million children a day, over 180 days a year.Characteristics of One-Time EventsCharacteristics of Policy/ Environmental ChangeUnique: Usually don't result in behavior changeRepeated, Ongoing: Promote behavior change over timeIndividualPolicy levelNot part of an ongoing planPart of an ongoing planShort in durationLong termNon-sustainingSustainingExample of One-Time EventsExamples of Policy and Environmental ChangeCelebrating 5 A Day WeekAdding fruits and vegetables to a la carte optionsHosting a Family Fitness NightMaking the school athletic facilities available to community membersProviding health screenings for school staffEstablish a building-sponsored wellness teamParticipate in Walk to School DayEstablishing a Safe Routes to School ProgramProviding healthy snacks or breakfast during MEAP testingAdopting the Michigan Nutrition Standards PolicyParticipate in Kick Butts DayEstablish a 24/7 tobacco-free school campus policy
- One-time events raise awareness and can be good marketing tools. But events and activities that promote policy and environmental changes are even better. Policy and environmental changes have a much greater impact than one-time events, and increase a school's ability to reach a large number of students and staff to sustain positive changes over time focused on healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco-free lifestyles.
- GAIN SUPPORT: Send the CSHT out to build momentum and educate key stakeholders such as the Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization, teachers, food service staff, administrators, athletic, art or music boosters, and others.
- COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY: Make the education and the communications frequent during the planning and implementation phases. Check out Nutrition News You Can Use to add to newsletters, emails, social media or websites.