New Mexico Healthy Schools Project
With the recent school closures due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we are sharing some of our classroom resources to help teachers, parents, and kids at home. The following resources have been compiled by staff from the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), Safe & Healthy Schools Bureau, and are intended to help identify online resources to help students stay active and choose nutritious food options during the ongoing schools closures. The list also includes resources for online classroom resources for physical and health education. Online Physical and Health Education Resources
Please note that the webinar begins at the 5:45 mark.
Healthy School Project Rapid-Fire (Mini) Presentations:
- August 14, 2019 Increasing Access to Nutritious Foods in Schools
- September 11, 2019: Ideas for Promoting International Walk and Bike to School Day
- •October 9, 2019, Strategies for Managing Asthma in the Classroom
- December 11, 2019, Healthy and Active Celebrations in the Classroom
- January 8, 2020, The New Mexico “5.2.1.O Challenge,” Promoting more physical activity, healthy food & hydration choices, and less screen time in the classroom. (Forward the recording to the 20:23 minute mark.)
- February 12, 2020: Managing Food Allergies in Schools
Healthy Students are Better Learners
Schools have direct contact with more than 95% of our nation’s young people aged 5-17 years, for about six hours per day and up to 13 critical years of their social, psychological, physical, and intellectual development. Schools play an important role in promoting the health and safety of children and adolescents by helping them to establish lifelong health patterns.
Healthy students are better learners, and academic achievement bears a lifetime of benefits for health. Schools are an ideal setting to teach and provide students with opportunities to improve their dietary and physical activity behaviors and manage their chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, food allergies, and poor oral health). When policies and practices are put in place to support healthy school environments, healthy students can grow to be healthy and successful adults.
Study shows how community-wide interventions for childhood obesity can help communities save money. Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hofstra University, and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University have published a new study that shows community-wide, child-focused, obesity prevention interventions can be beneficial investments. Every $1 invested in the “Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart Play Hard” program, conducted in Somerville, MA, returned a projected $1.51 in healthcare cost and productivity losses averted (return on investment of $0.51). The program was estimated to be a cost-saving intervention when examined over a 10-year time horizon. While targeting children, the exposure and estimated benefits of the program also extended to parents (including reduced weight status). This study is published in the latest issue of Preventive Medicine Reports. Get access to the full article here.
Purpose and Outcomes of the Project
- Increase the number of students who consume nutritious food and beverages (i.e., those aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans)
- Increase the number of students who participate in daily physical education and physical activity
- Increase the number of students who can effectively manage their chronic health conditions
- Increase skills among individuals trained to improve student health
- Increase percentage of individuals or teams whose skills in implementing school health policies and practices has increased
- Increase percentage of schools that do not sell less healthy foods and beverages
- Increase percentage of schools that have established, implemented and/or evaluated Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program
- Increase percentage of schools that provide case management for students with chronic health conditions
- Increase percentage of students who ate vegetables 3 or more times per day
- Increase percentage of students who ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices two or more times per day
- Increase percentage of students participating in 60 minutes of daily physical activity
The project is made possible through a five-year federal grant entitled, “Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement through Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Management of Chronic Conditions in Schools,” through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Population Health, School Health Branch. More information can be found at CDC Healthy Schools.
The Healthy Schools Grant provides NM an opportunity to build and enhance infrastructure and capacity within our state in order to strengthen:
- Physical Activity
- Physical Education
- Health Education
- Management of Chronic Disease in Schools
… as a pathway to academic success through a targeted, statewide approach through the coordinated school health model.
Our school district partners for this this grant are:
National Technical Assistance is provided through a number of prominent organizations:
Local Partners provide support and resources in improved nutrition and increasing physical activity opportunities during and after school as well as assisting in program data collection and evaluation.
Guidance and Reference Documents
- Comprehensive Framework for Addressing the School Environment and Services
- School Health Guidelines to Promote Eating and Physical Activity
Youth Health Resources
Healthy Youth site, CDC The CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health is excited to announce that the Healthy Youth website has a new look.
The New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) is a tool to assess the health risk behaviors and resiliency (protective) factors of New Mexico high school and middle school students. Topic areas for the YRRS include risk behaviors related to alcohol and drug use, unintentional injury, violence, suicidal ideation and attempts, tobacco use, sexual activity, physical activity, and nutrition; resiliency (protective) factors such as relationships in the family, school, community, and with peers; and health status issues such as body weight and asthma.
Congratulations to our Healthy Kids, Healthy Community Partners! Read all about it here.
For more information, please contact:
Healthy Schools Coordinator
New Mexico Public Education Department