By: Rob Bisceglie, CEO Action for Healthy Kids
We are in the middle of the fourth annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week, a time for schools to celebrate the great efforts they are making to improve the health of their students and communities through improving school foods and implementing physical activity and nutrition education programs. Given a recent study projecting that one in five adults globally will be obese by 2025, we must pause not only to celebrate school health achievements but also remind ourselves why the cause to make Every Kid Healthy is so important.
Every Kid Healthy Week grew from an idea in 2013 with just 83 events taking place reaching 26,000 students in 22 states to more than 1,400 events in 39 states involving more than 700,000 participants last year. Events run the gamut, from healthy foods taste tests that expose kids to new fruits and vegetables to family fitness nights that include a wide variety of physical fitness activities and bring entire communities together.
The online heat map at www.EveryKidHealthyWeek.org is full of events taking place right now: Mimi Farley Elementary School in Boys Ranch, TX is setting aside an hour at the end of each day during testing week to dedicate time to a new healthy activity, while students at Machesney Elementary School in Machesney Park, IL punch their mileage cards to rack up steps and miles as part of a friendly competition to win fun and healthy prizes. Portland Elementary School in Louisville, KY is making its Earth Day celebration feature a walk to clean up garbage around the neighborhood, while McNinch Primary School in Moundsville, WV is hosting healthy food taste test during lunch and regular afternoon physical activity breaks. You can find inspiring school stories all week on our Facebook page.
No matter what activity a school chooses to do, they all have the same goal – teaching and showing students how important it is to make healthy choices. These lessons build on what students are already experiencing through their school’s health and wellness programs during the year and will help to set them on the path to life-long healthy habits. It’s not too late for schools to join the movement, register their events and get a spot on the map!
Every Kid Healthy Week events need not be relegated to one week of the year. Schools can find great ideas and tips for holding events and activities and incorporating nutrition and physical activity into the school day year-round through our partner organizations and AFHK’s Game On program, which also helps schools take steps toward becoming nationally recognized as health promoting. When it comes to student health, this blog name says it all – Together Counts™. And together, we really are creating healthier schools and students, a vital component to stemming our national and global obesity epidemic. #EveryKidHealthy
Photos courtesy of Action for Healthy Kids
Action for Healthy Kids® is a nationwide grassroots network that supports school-based foods, nutrition education, physical education and physical activity that lead to lifelong healthy habits and academic success. With resources, funding opportunities, expert technical assistance, and our flagship program, Game On, we provide full support to schools, administrators and parents to develop healthy school environments for children. To learn more about the ways our 85,000+ volunteer network is helping to make Every Kid Healthy™, visit us at www.ActionforHealthyKids.org, on Facebook and on Twitter.
For more ideas on how to stay active and healthy in school, take a look at these other posts from Together Counts!