Engaging Parents in School Wellness: Provide Parenting Support

January 31, 2014

Schools can give parents vital information on supporting wellness at home and in school.

Recently we launched a new blog series on how schools can engage parents in promoting wellness. In each post in this series, we’ll address a different strategy that’s key to engaging parents.

Research clearly shows that good nutrition and plenty of physical activity are key to children’s academic success. That’s why it’s so important for schools to provide parenting support and help parents learn how to support healthy eating and fitness.

Here’s how can schools can take action:

  • Ask parents about their needs, interests and desired involvement in school wellness. One simple way to do this? Send out a survey asking parents for the health and wellness topics that most spark their interest.

  • Provide a variety of learning opportunities. Independently offer or collaborate with a nonprofit to provide opportunities for families to learn about topics such as child and adolescent development; the impact of nutrition and physical activity on a student’s ability to learn; how to set expectations for appropriate healthy behavior and academic performance; and healthy cooking/fitness tips. These topics can be addressed in a specific workshop or folded into already-planned activities, such as report card pick-up day.

  • Connect classroom learning to the home. Provide parents the opportunity to relate directly to lessons taught in student health and PE classes. PE and classroom teachers can each commit to hosting a learning opportunity, where parents can gain a deeper understanding of the health and wellness information being taught.

Learn more in this great example from CPS:

  • Madero Middle School: Helping Parents Be Role Models of Wellness : This middle school experienced great success by engaging parents in healthy cooking classes. Through the classes, parents gained both skills and a sense of community — making it easier to cook nutritious meals at home while reinforcing healthy lessons taught in school.

Read all blogs in this series, here!

 

Made possible [in part] by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Grant Number: 1H75DP004181-01) to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Student Health and Wellness, Healthy CPS. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions and official policies of CPS or CDC.