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Role Modeling Health Behaviors

Melodie Griffin,   Hungerford Elementary School
Access to Healthy Foods, Physical Activity Participation, Teamwork,  Other
Role Modeling Health Behaviors

Hungerford Elementary has focused on creating a whole school environment of health and wellness. In order to do this, staff and students are working together to encourage each other to be the healthiest they can be. While we have had numerous staff and student wellness programs, we've never done a great job in combining the two. This year, we went out of our way to ensure staff could be the students' biggest cheerleaders for healthy behaviors and vice versa. It took a little while to get going, but once the staff and students saw the success that can be achieved through working on healthy behaviors together, the momentum couldn't be stopped. We have now had many of our teachers who have lost numerous pounds and have improved their physical fitness levels. Likewise, we have many of our students who are improving their physical fitness levels and choosing healthier foods. Together, we have celebrated our successes through FUTP 60 parties, Hero's Breakfast, and many other opportunities.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Staff and students are losing weight, improving physical fitness, and cheering each other on. Working together has really improved the morale and the sense of community within our school.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Our school has had a lower grade, which means there is district focus for us to maintain strict schedules. This means little flexibility and extra activities. As such, we have had to find ways to incorporate healthy activities into regularly scheduled days. This means we had to gain teacher buy-in. Having students and teachers work together helped with this.

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

We're slowly changing the culture, which means that the change will be sustainable. When teachers, students, and administration are supporters of a healthier environment, sustainable change takes place.