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Ochoa Wellness Weeks

By
Kira Moore-Rendon,   Ochoa Elementary School
Play:
Farm to School — Know Your Foods
Topics:
Access to Healthy Foods, Community Involvement, Physical Activity Participation, Student Leadership, Success with Funds,  Teamwork
We incorporated many healthy activities, information and eats in our Wellness Weeks! Our SWAT leaders introduced students, staff and families to healthy fruit and yogurt smoothies as desert with our school lunches! A granola choco-bar proved a hit! We offered alternative relays at lunch for open participation, from bean bag toss to tug a war. The competition was steady between classes, between genders and even the teachers and staff weren't afraid to buddy up and tug to the finish! Our second Wellness Week included student-grown vegetables with the support of our Ecology Instructor and her community garden. We enjoyed raw carrots, baked spiced pumpkin, sauteed broccoli, and we added fresh kale in our smoothies! Living Streets Alliance came to our school twice this year, offering free bike repair. Students and families were invited to come after school with their bikes in need of repair and fix their bikes themselves with guidance, support and tools of the expert bike repairmen. We culminated third quarter with the Kids Heart Challenge, supported by the American Heart Association. While we learned about heart health, we included information and activities about the ills of tobacco use, including “vaping” and “jules.” Almost all of our students and staff signed a pledge to "BE HEALTHY - BE TOBACCO FREE!" The grand finale was a recess of heart pounding rope jumping fun. The year is not over yet, as our opportunity to make healthy choices is not over either. We look forward to a fourth quarter health kick week!  

How did students and adults work together as a team?

We teamed up with our Ecology Instructor to incorporate the food our students took part in planting, caring for, harvesting and preparing. Our Chef shared her space and expertise to support us in prepping the fresh vegies as well as the frozen fruits. Pima County’s Health Department loaned us an Anti-Tobacco Kit and Living Street Alliance came out twice to support our community in repairing their own bicycles. Arizona Heart Association presented to our whole school on Heart Health.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

It takes a great deal of organization - it also takes teachers, staff and families supporting such an initiative to make it as successful as these weeks have been.