October 2015 - LPS Wellness Program
LPS 2015-2016 Quarterly Wellness Challenges
Movies, Wellness and Coming Attractions
Do you have a favorite movie series? Be it Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Star Wars or one of many others, we love both to see what is new and move forward from a place that is familiar. Wellness in the schools is very much like the movies. The areas of struggle in wellness aren’t new to most of us; however, how we approach them can bring new life to our efforts. At the same time, the battle to keep health subjects feeling fresh is similar to making a good sequel. Tough stuff!
This year LPS Wellness has turned to the movies and pop culture as inspiration for a twist on the challenges to engage students, staff and families. The first challenge of the school year was timed to the release of the Hunger Games sequel and was the Hunger Challenge. It focused on both personal hunger and hunger issues in our community. Participants took steps to better manage their nutrition through checking off different hunger “districts” and rather volunteered or gave donations related to an organization that locally help battle hunger.
Now Playing: Quarter two is matched with the release of the new Star Wars movie and encourages staff and students to take brain breaks through the Awaken Your Force Challenge. The focus is to help both students and teachers include more physical activity throughout their school day and integrate movement based learning when possible. With the challenge of rigorous school work, utilizing planned breaks and transition activities is key to students regaining focus and managing stress while also being physically active and gaining skills.
Coming Attractions: Quarter three will play with the popular and addictive Angry Birds idea, with the Less Angry Birds Challenge and a focus on stress management. This challenge is enhanced through collaboration with our school psychologists in choosing the best approach to providing tools to teachers, students and families. Other surprises have yet to be determined for quarter four.
New Releases: In addition to the district-wide challenges, 35 schools have enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. The program, a collaboration between the NFL and the National Dairy Council, has provided 20 of the enrolled schools with grant dollars to enhance the reach of the established LPS Wellness Challenge activities, particularly related to hunger issues and brain breaks. The overall focuses are on nutrition, physical activity and student leadership empowerment. This year’s State of Nebraska representative is a student from Scott Middle School, a first for Lincoln Public Schools. The “cool factor” from the relationship with the NFL helps engage more students. For schools who reach their goals, Fuel Up to Play 60 provides a rewards summit that tops off the year with an exciting and educational day at Memorial Stadium for a few lucky schools.
Though these events are important to inject the “fun factor” into wellness, the culture of wellness has undergone a substantial shift within these past five years. One example of this shift includes meeting our Healthy People 2015 goals with both improvements in obesity and physical fitness of student grades K-8. A great recognition was awarded to the district receiving the Green Ribbon School District designation by the national department of education. The award brings together the combination of wellness efforts, science curriculum standards and environmental standards being achieved within our district. Only 19 school districts in the nation achieved this designation in 2015.
As we continue to shape our wellness efforts we are likely to experience some plot line twists and turns. We hope you join our many community collaborators and LPS wellness efforts for some of our many coming attractions and new releases. Thanks for all that you do as part of our community to support brighter futures for our kids. Two thumbs up for you!