Get the resources you need to make change for wellness or environmental health at your school.
You have the power to create change for student health and wellness at your school and in your neighborhood.
Often, sustainable change takes a committed team of supporters to champion wellness in your school. Although much can be accomplished in an individual teacher’s classroom or by a dedicated school nurse or an enthusiastic principal or parent, lasting progress is nearly always a group effort.
Whether you’re focused on implementing green cleaning, improving school food, increasing physical activity or making other changes, a team that represents a variety of perspectives within the school community will be best positioned to make change.
Who to include? Begin by reaching out to the school principal, parents, teachers, the school nurse, facilities managers, school nutrition and food service leaders, and students. Does your school already have a wellness committee (many do) or a sustainability club?
Get to know the people who are already interested in the issues you’re focused on. Also consider people in your community who may bring a particular skill or interest to promoting school health.
After you’ve brought together team members, what’s next?
Here are a few steps to get started:
Get specific. When your team is in place, assess your school’s current needs. What are the most pressing challenges with student health and wellness? Outline what resources you have, what outcomes you want and what barriers you might face trying to get there. Think about the opportunities that currently exist and the strengths you can find in your community.
Develop a plan. Now that you’ve identified your goals, write them down. Identify the strategies and milestones you can use to measure progress. Also, outline the step-by-step activities that will take you to success. Give allies on your team responsibility for specific steps.
Take the first step. Remember that you don't need to do everything at once. Often, a pilot program will be the best way to gain acceptance for your goals, work out any logistical problems and test different methods.
Rate your progress. Regularly review the measurable outcomes you identified in your plan. Identify which steps have been taken, which milestones have been accomplished and what else needs to be done. If you’ve received any feedback, consider that in your progress report. Also, review the lessons you're learning along the way.
Give high–fives. Celebrate your progress, for goodness' sake! To keep your team engaged and motivated, it can’t be all work and no play. Take time to recognize the steps you take successfully and the people working hard to make it happen!
We’d love to hear about your experiences, challenges and successes in creating change at your school. Connect with us to share your experiences.