LPS Wellness Program
The Growing Impact of Collaboration
LPS District Wellness Coordinator, Michelle Welch, shares her thoughts on the program growth and evolution as she enters her ninth year coordinating the wellness efforts in the Lincoln Public Schools:
Entering year nine of my work with LPS, it’s amazing to look back and see the growth of wellness resources, largely due to collaborations within schools and with community partners. But more importantly, it is fun to look forward and see the potential with our continually improving approaches to health and wellness. Here are four examples:
- Health curriculum is being updated, in collaboration with health providers in our community. Matt Avey, curriculum specialist for health and physical education, is working with physicians in Lincoln to ensure continuity and health priorities of focus. This will benefit the entire community and ensure joint support for key health issues and wellness messages.
- Expanding quarterly focus efforts beyond the challenge itself. Schools often now incorporate special events, theme days and more to increase the impact of wellness efforts. Materials are provided by district wellness to schools supporting intercom announcements, parent and staff communications, posters, scavenger hunts and more. Upcoming focus areas: (Qtr. 2) Activity variety, (Qtr. 3) Self-acceptance and (Qtr. 4) Calm and Focus.
- Mapping updates. Recently, the Community Health Endowment released the updated Place Matters community maps and for the first time, our LPS school data on annual cardiovascular fitness testing results for grades 4-8 were part of the mapping. The shift of focus within the map publications to fitness instead of obesity focus is a great stride of collaboration, as school data continues to support the importance of fitness data in correlation to success in the classroom.
- Community collaborations around key issues, such as the epidemic of vaping and e-cigarette use by teens and tweens. Far before the recent uptick of deaths and serious health injuries for kids through vaping, LPS and the Lincoln Lancaster Health Department were working together on messaging and approaches to help both students and parents understand the risks of these new nicotine and sometimes THC delivery systems. Principals, curriculum leaders and health department leads have worked together to tackle this growing issue.
As you can see, each highlight includes a glimpse of the vast collaborations which are impacting the reach of health and wellness improvement in our community. We are thankful for our community’s willingness to work together to have that type of collaborative impact.
Our work with Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln is a vital key to having those conversations that improve community health as a whole; but particularly the health and well-being of the students and families we serve. Thanks to our many community partners for helping us to build brighter futures for all students. Learn more about the LPS Wellness Program.