Join the Healthy School Movement
Schools across Colorado are forming health and wellness teams and focusing on creating healthy schools and promoting healthy lifestyles. PTA support and leadership can help these teams be successful. Each school has a unique culture and may have different areas of focus depending on their community’s needs. Focus areas may include the following:
- Supporting healthy school nutrition programs
- Supporting mental health and suicide prevention initiatives
- Supporting social emotional health and equity education opportunities
- Increasing access to opportunities for play, physical education, and movement in the classroom
- Supporting safety initiatives and safety education programs
- Focusing on healthy celebrations, family events, and non-food rewards
- Holding healthy fundraisers
- Offering healthy snack programs Looking for information and resources to support your work in these focus areas? Explore these HWS programs and resources that the HWS Committee has shared in our newsletters and trainings from Colorado and national organizations. CLICK HERE
- Find out if your school has an existing school health or wellness team or committee. If so, does it include parents? What is it working on, and how can your PTA support those efforts?
- Check out your district website to find your wellness policy and to see how health, wellness, and safety is being promoted and implemented.
- Does your district have a healthy schools coordinator, point person, or team on staff? If so, make the connection and find out what HWS initiatives your district has in place, how PTAs and parents are engaged with those initiatives, and if not, how PTAs could provide helpful collaboration.
- Talk to your school leaders to understand their priorities for your school and to find out how their perspective on school health fits in. When you talk to school leaders about the value of healthy schools, put it in terms of their priorities and offer PTA support.
- Talk to your families to understand their priorities for their children’s health and education. Promote HWS initiatives that help address those priorities and that foster health equity whenever possible.
- Do you have a school garden? A walk-to-school program? Physical activity clubs? Find out how they operate and invite them to share at your PTA meetings or family education nights.
- Does your school provide opportunities for social emotional learning and programs to support mental health? Find out how they work and invite them to share at your PTA meetings or family education nights.
- Talk to your PE teacher, kitchen manager, and school counselor. What is their vision for their programming, and how can PTA be supportive?
- Make a point to share HWS news, trends, and opportunities at each PTA meeting.
- Lead a discussion about your school’s health, wellness, and safety practices and priorities at a PTA meeting.
- Explore ideas for healthy fundraising, healthy celebrations, and healthy non-food rewards when your PTA is planning activities for the year. Consider these as key opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Invite your district wellness coordinator to come to a PTA meeting to share district level initiatives and promote best practices.
- Attend a Colorado PTA HWS Committee meeting to learn about our state level priorities and share your perspective on HWS issues from the unit level – we need to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need advice.
MAKE HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND SAFETY A FOCUS AREA FOR YOUR PTAConsider any of these ideas to help your PTA get started…
Health, Wellness, and Safety LiaisonDesignating a Health, Wellness, and Safety (HWS) Liaison for your unit can help move your HWS efforts forward faster. The HWS Liaison’s role is to help connect PTA members with school, district, and community resources to support health, safety, and equity at schools and healthy lifestyles for students and families. The individual in this position serves as a liaison between the PTA and any school, district or community efforts related to HWS, such as a school wellness team. The individual may simply serve as the point person for resources and educational opportunities provided by the HWS committee or may lead school wellness efforts, depending on personal and PTA capacity and the school community. The HWS Liaison position can be filled by any person who has a genuine interest in youth health, safety, and equity.
Find out more about being a Health Wellness and Safety Liaison here.
Learn what this position is all about and how to adapt it to fit the time you have and the interests of your parent group on this webinar, recorded live by Colorado PTA and Colorado Action for Healthy Kids on
February 6, 2018.
Health Wellness & Safety Committee Info Sheets
COLORADO PTA HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND SAFETY COMMITTEE
Health, Wellness, and Safety Committee goals are to:
- Provide local PTA units with pertinent and up-to-date resources, information, and education
- Effectively advocate for issues related to health, wellness, safety, and equity for all students
- Collaborate and partner with like-minded individuals and organizations within Colorado to further enhance education and awareness of student health, wellness, safety, and equity issues
- Develop successful collaboration with other Colorado PTA programs and initiatives
- Encourage each PTA unit to appoint a Health, Wellness, and Safety Liaison