How Can You Make Your School Healthier?

April 07, 2015

Here are a few ways you can help make school healthier.

We believe that every student deserves a healthy school, so every day at Healthy Schools Campaign is healthy schools day. Today, however, we’re celebrating the 13th annual National Healthy Schools Day presented by the Healthy Schools Network.

Healthy Schools Network works with organizations across the country to host events and raise awareness. The green cleaning team at Clarke County School District in Georgia is holding several educational events about preventing mold and moisture. Clarke County’s green cleaning program is a great model for schools looking to incorporate green cleaning practices. The district was awarded HSC’s Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities Honorable Mention: New Program in 2014 and the team’s executive director, Kimberly Thomas, serves on our Leadership Council.

There are a number of other National Healthy Schools Day events you can take part it, including parent workshops, building walkthroughs and webinars. You can view a full list of Healthy Schools Day partners and events here.

Healthy schools are important because schools have a tremendous reach. There are more than 130,000 public and private K-12 schools enrolling 55 million children and employing 7 million adults. About 20 percent of the total U.S. population is in schools every day.

HSC works on school health through a variety of issues and programs — such as school food, physical activity, green cleaning, school nursing, professional development and parent leadership — that help to create healthier school environments both here in Chicago, where we’re based, and throughout the country.

This work continues year round. Today, in celebration of National Healthy Schools Day, we’re sharing three ways the public can get involved and encourage healthier schools.

  1. Ask about your school’s green cleaning program. Our greencleanschools.org website offers a program assessment that can serve as a starting point to expand and improve a green cleaning program at  your school. The initial assessment will be evaluated by our Leadership Council, a group of green cleaning experts. They will provide feedback and ideas for program improvement.
  2. Eat meals at school with your children. Parents are an invaluable resource when it comes to their children’s eating habits. Taking the time to experience a school meal with your child can encourage them to try — and even enjoy — new food items at school.
  3. If you’re in Chicago, encourage teachers and principals at your school to get involved with our Fit to Learn professional development program. This free program features sessions on school gardening, yoga in the classroom and incorporating movement into the curriculum. We’re recruiting now for our summer session.

Making strides toward a healthier school can involve small — but powerful — steps. Take today to think about what steps you and your school can take today.