Welcome! Let's talk about children's health, and some simple things you can do to make a difference—in your family, school, and community. Please scroll down to find links, as well as information on coming programs and activities. We are interested in your questions, comments, and ideas. Your needs drive our efforts, so please do not hesitate to share what's worked well for you, as well as letting us know what support you need. Together we can become healthier and happier as we work to light the way for every child.
Utah PTA strongly believes that health means so much more than being what the media tells us about being thin and athletic; healthy people are happy people who feel good—inside and out. We can all do better at improving our lifestyles, and that happens one step at a time. Whether it's eating healthier foods, reducing unnecessary stress, or remembering to apply sunscreen before playing outside, one simple change in your life, in your school, or in your community can have lasting effects.
Health covers an extremely broad range of issues, and Utah PTA has chosen the following to focus on and advocate for in the best interest of children:
Here you will find helpful tools in training to be a Health Commissioner.
SALT LAKE CITY — There is growing concern that kids in school are not getting enough recess time, which has been cut back as schools focus on testing. But experts say it is a critical part of the school day.
Some schools are focused on teaching more, preparing for tests or taking tests. Utah PTA health commissioner Jeana Stockdale says research shows recess and physical activity help boost academic performance, and as a substitute teacher, she has some personal experience teaching in schools where recess has been cut back.
"They become less productive, more fidgety, more loud, aggressive," Stockdale said.
She says everybody benefits from breaks.
"They need a chance to get some of that pent-up energy out, and go outside and have a break, then come back in and be ready to start again," Stockdale said.
Stockdale says some principals are concerned about fights or bullying at recess, and don't have the manpower to stand guard. She says that's where parent volunteers can come to the rescue.
Health experts are also concerned about the cutback, as more children are becoming overweight.
Stockdale says studies show if kids do not get exercise at school, they do not compensate at home.
"If they are not getting exercise at home, they need it at school," Stockdale said. "To take that away from them … their health is so important."
Stockdale says if parents are concerned that their school is cutting back on recess, they should talk to the principal about it.
Check out this special report from USA Today by Betsy Landers, National PTA President, regarding the link between missing school in kindergarten and the first grade to high school dropout rates. We should help our young children eat well and get enough sleep so they can be alert and ready to learn. http://www.pta.org/Health_and_
Ths is the link for the Recess Before Lunch Webinar: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zjs1yw60w0byn1p/2013-02-11%2010.00%20Recess%20...
To view the entire webinar click on the link below. When the page open, “Download” the webinar.”
Here are 2 links wtih information on Recess Before Lunch from Action For Health Kids.
Our webinars for this school year are done. We will start again in September with "Recess Before Lunch" . Our last one was very informative and successful. Watch for a link in August to register. I welcome any ideas for future webinars that will be held throughout next school year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Interested in learning more about why New School meals are Important for your Children. Click on the link below and read The Hill's Congress Blog.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) knows that throughout the course of a school day there is any number of challenges you are faced with regarding the health of your students. The Utah Department of Health offers many health resources for schools. To assist you in accessing these resources, a School Health Resources Guide has been created. You can download the guide by clicking on the link below. You can also learn more on UDOH website at http://www.health.utah.gov.
Action for Healthy Kids is the nation’s leading nonprofit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by working with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity to help our kids learn to eat right, be active every day and be ready to learn. They provide expertise, volunteers, programs and resources nationwide through a unique collaboration of more than 11,000 members – professionals, parents, educators, community volunteers, business leaders and students – in partnership with professional associations, government agencies and corporations. The National PTA is a partner with Action for Healthy Kids. Utah PTA partners with the Utah Team of Action for Healthy Kids and the PTA Health Commissioner serves on that team. Go to http://www.actionforhealthykids.org to learn more.
The Action for Healthy Kids School Programs:
Action cost programs and resources so that children in all schools get to learn healthy eating habits and the need for daily physical activity AND they get to eat healthy foods and be active every day. See which one is right for your school.
Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge
This is one powerful and unique program that makes it easy for schools to help youth and their families learn to eat healthy and be active every day. Game On! features fun activities, or "challenges," around "Making Better Food Choices" and "Moving More." Best of all, Game On! helps increase awareness and leads to behavior changes that positively impact health and achievement.
A collaboration with the National Football League, ReCharge! helps kids in grades 2-6 learn about nutrition and physical activity through fun, teamwork-based activities – before, during or after school.
Students Taking Charge
Students have a right to a healthy school! Students Taking Charge is a national program from Action for Healthy Kids for high school students to learn, join and take action to make their schools healthier places and to help themselves and their peers learn to eat right and be active every day.
Wellness Policy Tool
Never has creating, implementing and monitoring a wellness policy been easier. The handy online tool provides step-by-step guidance, best practice examples and resources to create a local wellness policy; put the policy into action; and measure its success against goals to improve student health and learning.
Fuel Up to Play 60
Up to $4,000 per year is available to any qualifying K-12 school enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. The competitive, nationwide funding program can help your school jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements.
Whether you’re just starting out with Fuel Up to Play 60 or looking to expand and extend an initiative that’s already in motion, Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 can help.
Check out the website below on Healthy Tips for kids.
The Utah PTA has a partnership with The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Utah (NAMI Utah) that officially supports the Hope for Tomorrow program. This program is a home grown Utah program that was developed by students, PTA representatives, parents, educators and other professionals.
The three goals of this program are:
The three topics discussed are:
The three audiences involved are:
This program does not prescribe, heal, or treat. Through education, this program provides an opportunity for adolescents who suffer from undiagnosed, under-treated, or untreated mental illness to learn both when and how to seek appropriate professional help. It also provides teachers, parents and the community with information on signs and symptoms of three potential, life threatening illnesses. Education is empowering–especially when there is collaboration between homes and schools.
For questions call Julie at NAMI Utah 801-323-9900 or toll free 1-877-230-6264. For more information see http://www.namiut.org.
Update: Look below for the latest Mental Health Matters pdf.
BECOME A HOPE FOR TOMORROW CHAMPION
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people age 15-24.”
What is Hope for Tomorrow?
Hope for Tomorrow (HFT) is a school-based mental health education program that provides an opportunity for adolescents who suffer from undiagnosed, under-treated, or untreated mental illness to learn both when and how to seek appropriate help. It also provides teachers, parents and the community with information on signs and symptoms of three potential, life-threatening illnesses.
What is the biggest challenge Hope for Tomorrow faces?
The biggest challenge this program faces is how to keep it going in the schools. Hope for Tomorrow has primarily been implemented by a school’s PTA board – but once those board members are gone, the program disappears.
How can you help?
We feel one effective way of keeping Hope for Tomorrow active in the schools is to identify HFT “champions” who will adopt a school and work with the school’s PTA, counselors, or other interested parties to keep “Hope” alive from year to year. You can choose a school your children attend or attended, or the school you live closest to, or any school you feel a connection to.
“I’m busy. How much time is this going to take?”
You can put as little or as much time into being an HFT champion as you want. You can even pair up with another person and become co-champions. Basically, your job would be to make contact with the school (the PTA president or Health Commissioner is a good place to start), see if they know about Hope for Tomorrow and are currently running it in their school, and if not, provide them with information about the program and encourage them to implement it. Then you would touch base with the school yearly to ensure they continue the program. You would also keep NAMI informed of your efforts.
Hope for Tomorrow – a “gateway” to NAMI
Ultimately, we would like to see Hope for Tomorrow become a “gateway” program that leads people to other NAMI programs and resources. For example, through Hope for Tomorrow a student could learn about our Progression class for adolescents and young adults. A parent could learn about Basics, Family-to-Family, or Family Support Groups. School counselors could learn about Family Resource Facilitators. ESL students and parents could learn about Conexión and Familia a Familia.
The Hope for Tomorrow Menu of Options
What we want people to understand is that implementing Hope for Tomorrow in their school does not have to be a big, complicated process. It can be as simple as asking the school to put a link to NAMI or Hope for Tomorrow on their school website. If that’s all a school can do, that’s wonderful! Or it can be as involved as arranging a Parents and Teachers as Allies panel presentation for a teacher in-service or a parent forum. The important thing is just getting the program out there and increasing awareness.
Childhood overweight and obesity are major concerns in the United States. Evidence indicates that poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity are associated with lower student achievement. Recognizing that schools have more influence on the lives of young people than any other institution, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students learn to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.
USDA has established the HealthierUS School Challenge to recognize schools that create healthier school environments by providing nutrition education, nutritious food and beverage choices, physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
The challenge is offered at four award levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. Monetary awards of $500-$2,000 are available.
If you have questions or need help, contact Child Nutrition at the State Office of Education at 801-538-7563.
Utah PTA supports a variety of programs, activities, and events throughout the school year. Here are a few you may want to become more familiar with. The first three programs listed, are official PTA Programs.
Gold Medal Schools makes it possible for elementary schools to provide physical activity and healthy nutrition choices at a time when budget cuts and testing requirements overshadow physical activity and nutrition. Gold Medal Schools improves students’ academic success through policies and environmental changes that support good nutrition, physical activity and staying tobacco-free.
The Utah Department of Health developed the Gold Medal Schools program in 2001 using the State Office of Education's core curriculum and the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines to address overweight and obesity in elementary schools. Intermountain Healthcare partnered with the Gold Medal Schools team in 2005 and has enabled the program to reach more schools throughout the state. Today, Gold Medal Schools has reached more than 140,000 students and over 6,000 teachers in 286 elementary schools!
The Gold Medal Schools program launched a new page on their web site. This new page is especially for parents. Its main purpose is to take Gold Medal Schools to the home reinforcing the school's Gold Medal Schools philosophy. Please check it out and spread the word about this new resource for the parents.
Students at many schools around the state are supporting an Anti-idling Campaign. We would like your help to reduce idling while waiting in your car.
Did you know that if everyone in the United States stopped idling for five minutes a day it would be equivalent to taking five hundred thousand cars off the road and saving one point six million tons of CO2? By turning your engine off when parked for more than 10 seconds, you will save money by reducing fuel use. You will breathe easier by preventing unhealthy exhaust from building up in and around your car, and you will protect the blue sky by reducing idling emissions that contribute to smog, because 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine.
To learn more, go to http://www.idlefree.utah.gov.
Remember to Turn your key and be idle free!
For information on how to organize a successful Ribbon Week event, please visit http://www.ufyi.org, where you will find a downloadable booklet on organizing a ribbon week.
Below is a list of websites with ideas for Ribbon Weeks, the different ribbon colors, and what they mean. Choose the one that fits your school best.
Red Ribbon - Drug Free
Yellow Ribbon - Teen Suicide Prevention
Purple Ribbon - Domestic Violence Awareness Week
Green Ribbon--Awareness of Sexual Violence
Green Ribbon - Safety in the Roads
White Ribbon - Increase Awareness of Pornography
Blue Ribbon - Child Abuse Prevention
Purchasing ribbons for Ribbon Week
Ribbons can be purchased for $1.50 a roll/300 feet.
Ribbons of various colors are available from:
612 West Confluence Ave (4206 South)
Murray, UT 84123
Call ahead to place your order. Mention the Utah PTA for a discount!
An important on-line course for coaches and P.E. teachers
Coaches, referees, PE Teachers, elementary school teachers - all probably have about one child with asthma out of every ten students or team members. Winning With Asthma is a 30 minute online course coaches and teachers can take for free to educate them on how to coach a child with asthma. For completing the course, they will receive a coach's clipboard with more information on asthma and printed on the back of the clipboard are instructions on how to handle an asthma attack.
Approximately 8% of children in Utah have asthma. That is about 67,800 children with asthma, enough to fill 2,700 classrooms. Becoming an Asthma School Advocate is a great way to help improve the lives of children with asthma. Come to a training to learn more about asthma and activities you can do in schools in your community. For more information visit our blog at http://asthmaadvocate.blogspot.com. To sign up for an Asthma Advocate training contact Phillip Harris, email@example.com or (801)538-6595.
Let's encourage all teachers and coaches of any of the teams from the school or neighborhood to take just 30 minutes and take this course at http://www.WinningWithAsthma.org.http://asthmamomlife.blogspot.com/
Check out this blog recommended by the Utah Department of Health, Asthma, http://asthmamomlife.blogspot.com/.
Did you know that asthma is the cause of 14 million missed school days each year? The Utah Department of Health Asthma Program is developing an Asthma School Policy Agenda to identify school policies that will help improve quality of life for students with asthma. This survey asks for your feedback on eight possible policies for addressing asthma in schools. The survey will only take about 5 minutes to complete. Please follow this link to take the survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9KMT2DD
Here is the link for a Healthy a lifestyles grant. The deadline is June 28, 2013
Utah Department of Health - http://www.health.utah.gov
For a wealth of information on a variety of topics, from what our state government is doing to combat childhood obesity, to tips on sun safety. (Click the “Local Health” tab to access your local health department.)
Centers for Disease Control - http://www.cdc.gov
Looking for the latest Food Guide Pyramid? Information on how to prevent seasonal illnesses or protect your family from common viruses (like West Nile)? Growth and development milestones for your child? Tips on how to make your home or school safer? Guidance on how to correctly install your child safety restraints? It's all here in a very accessible format. This is one you'll want to bookmark and visit again and again.
Substance Abuse - http://www.justthinktwice.com
Run by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, this site offers information on all imaginable forms of substance abuse, including prevention and treatment to parents and adolescents.