One core belief Americans hold is academic opportunity and beyond that, academic excellence. Each year our educators aspire to instill knowledge and passion into our future generation with the hope of greater success than all the generations previously. With the rise of childhood obesity, our youngest citizens stand to have their very achievements overshadowed by poor health and shorter life spans. An incredible opportunity stands before us today that will open the doors to state-of-the-art learning environments.
Why should schools embrace health and wellness? First, schools are responsible for students 180 days per year for approximately seven hours per day. Additionally, schools serve one to two meals per day. Schools are in the role of educating both formally through classroom instruction and informally through role modeling and school climate. Furthermore, schools are the perfect forum to provide the most accurate information on proper nutrition, exercise and overall health. Just as schools should exemplify the ideals of character, patriotism and integrity, so too should schools emulate the most optimal best practices of health and wellness.
How can schools learn more about integrating health and wellness? The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is a research based formula with a proven track record for success. The program provides a relationship manager for personalized support and guidance. In addition, the website is a vast resource of prime ideas, techniques and products. Using the simple, easy to use, step-by-step plan, schools can gradually and successfully transform into a lean, mean learning machine. With the help of the relationship manager, our school plans to add a kickball club, increase nutritious snack options, and encourage birthday celebrations as an opportunity to experience a “physical activity treat.” Your relationship manager can help you create an action plan that caters to your school’s specific needs ranging from grade level, educational vision, and community interests.
The added benefit of having a balanced approach to education will be an influx of potential employees prepared to conquer new areas of business and industry with the physical and mental health to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The domino effect of this benefit will be healthier families and stronger communities. A time has come when true success will be measured not only by achievements, but also by the ability to enjoy that success. The current generation will crave intellectual excellence and a vibrant, healthy lifestyle.