Small Changes Make a Big Difference: How Namaste Charter School Stays Healthy

January 30, 2013 | Written By:

Earlier this week, we shared a great case study from Namaste Charter School in Chicago. 

Namaste's Founder and Principal Allison Slade recently shared more advice on wellness in the classroom for HSC's upcoming Fit to Learn program. Here's more on what makes Namaste Charter School a healthy place to work and learn: 

“Small changes make a difference: We worked hard to make small changes first—from white bread to wheat bread using one piece of each for sandwiches for awhile, for example, and now we use only whole grains. Things like this do make a difference.

“Physical education and physical activity are distinct and kids need both: At Namaste we have purposeful PE programming (as in a PE teacher and class) but that is separate from our expectations regarding physical activity or movement during the school day, which every single adult in the building has a part in ensuring.

“Adult modeling is crucial: Kids see everything adults do — from drinking soda with their lunches to sneaking candy. We’ve tried to integrate these healthy principles into our own lives through healthy food in our staff lounge, after school fitness classes for staff that students hear about and see and other things like this!

“Help teachers by providing resources and a framework for doing it — some teachers will do it innately but some need a lot of structure and assistance to make it happen. We have a place for it on our lesson plan template!”

Resources recommended by Principal Allison Slade at Namaste Charter School:



Thanks, Namaste, for sharing lessons learned!

Click here to read a full case study on Namaste Charter School from Health in Mind, a new report from HSC and Trust for America’s Health.

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