Health and Wellness Initiative
The North Allegheny School District recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to physical well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn. To that end, in June 2006, the NA School Board approved the Student Wellness Policy #3441, required by Public Law 108-265. This Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act requires all school districts in the nation, participating in the National School Lunch Program, to develop a local Wellness Policy. The law stipulates that all school districts must develop nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity.
There have been many changes that have been implemented District-wide to support good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. The cafeterias and vending machines in the schools are offering healthy options at lunch time and include more selections of juice, milk, and water. Our schools are offering educational opportunities and fun activities to students and parents through after-school and evening events focusing on wellness.
One way that teachers can support the District's implementation of the Wellness Policy, and help students understand the benefits of good nutrition, is by considering the type of classroom rewards that are selected for students. The Pennsylvania Department of Education's guidelines recommend that teachers select alternatives to using food as a reward, unless the reward is an activity that promotes a positive message. Following is a link to a website that offers additional information on Constructive Classroom Rewards. Information can be accessed at www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/constructive_rewards.pdf.
Let's partner together and remember that in a healthy school environment, students will learn about and participate in positive lifestyle practices that can improve student health and student achievement.