Why and how should physical education and health teachers reach beyond class time and units to become change-makers to create a healthier school community?
We know that children attend school during the most formative years of their lives. These are the years when habits and preferences develop that often continue into adult life. Therefore, schools are a perfect place for teachers, as well as students, to impact future behaviors. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, three-week nutrition or fitness units are too short to make long-lasting differences. To make 50 Million Strong a reality, we need to integrate health and wellness into our school communities throughout the year.
In 2008, Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, started its Link It & Live It wellness program to inspire and empower students, employees and parents to make healthful choices. Link It & Live It provides opportunities, activities and events for the school community to take ownership for present and future wellness throughout the year. The program focuses on the link between sleep, healthful eating and physical activity, and how together they impact the heart, brain and body.