Childhood obesity, its impact on the development of chronic diseases, and the costs associated with its treatment are a pressing problem for today's society. It has been stated that this may be the first generation of young Americans, born today, who will have a shorter life span than their parents or grandparents if childhood obesity rates are not revised. Realizing the impact on our communities, WellSpan Health developed and implemented its coordinated, multi-faceted Growing Healthy prevention strategy to promote healthy eating and physical activity in York and Adams counties. Growing Healthy consists of four priority areas - communities, early childhood sites, healthcare settings, and schools - and is aligned with national recommendations to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.
Through community-based partnerships and programs, WellSpan is committed to transforming our communities into those which encourage children, adults and families to make healthy choices.
WellSpan Health is committed to providing education and services that will assist parents and their families to improve their health.
WellSpan Health is working with preschool settings to promote healthy eating and physical activity curricula. The curricula provided gives preschool staff easy to use lessons that focus on making healthy food choices and being physically active. The themes of the lessons are shared with parents through parent letters and take home activity packets which highlight the concepts being addressed with the preschoolers.
Since the pilot program began in the 2006-2007 school year, a total of 75 early childhood provider staff have been trained in the Growing Healthy Tots program. The program is being utilized at 10 preschool locations.
Helping children establish good health habits early in life can make the difference between health and disability in adulthood. WellSpan Health created a school partnership program to assist schools with providing an environment that encourages healthful eating behaviors and regular physical activity.
Resources available through the Growing Healthy Kids school partnership program respond to national and state guidelines requiring comprehensive school wellness policies that include development of school health councils, and broad-based support for environment and policy changes that promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.
Partnership opportunities are designed to support the wellness policies of the school districts in York and Adams counties. Specific programs and materials are offered FREE to schools and are based upon National Physical Education Standards; and current recommendations for the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Through the Growing Healthy Kids School Partnership Program, Community Health & Wellness will:
The Growing Healthy Kids school partnership program is financially supported by the York Hospital Auxiliary. Teachers or school administrators may contact Joe Anne Ward-Cottrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 851-3222 for more information about partnership opportunities.
The following schools are involved in the 2010-2011 Growing Health Kids School Partnership:
For professional development or to enhance your school's physical education program, visit:
Action Based Learning
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance:
American Association for Health Education
American Council on Exercise
Centers for Disease Control
Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research
Jensen Learning Corporation
National Association for Girls and Women in Sport
National Association for Health and Fitness
National Association for Sport and Physical Education
PE 4 Life Active Body Active Mind
PE Central for Health & Physical Education Teachers
PE Links for You
Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activity (PANA)
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
Susan Byrnes Health Education Center
Shape up America
Shape Up PA
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