Parents as Champions for Healthy Schools
The Parents as Champions for Healthy Schools Project provides regional family leadership development workshops to engage families in advocacy for healthier school environments. The Project is part of SchoolHealthNJ, an initiative of the NJ Department of Health, which incorporates the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework.
The WSCC model, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emphasizes that each child, in each school, in each of our communities deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Parents play an important role in promoting healthy schools.
Our parent development workshop encourages families and school staff to work together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of students, through the 10 components of the WSCC model:
- Health Education
- Nutrition Environment and Services
- Physical Education and Physical Activity
- Health Services
- Physical Environment
- Social and Emotional Climate
- Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
- Employee Wellness
- Parent Engagement
- Community Involvement
About the Parents as Champions for Healthy Schools Workshop
Our parent engagement workshop provides parent teams with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to partner with school staff to create healthier school environments. In the workshop, parent teams from schools in the region learn about school health, develop advocacy skills, determine an area of need in their school, and create an action plan to address that need. Parent teams that complete the workshop have an opportunity to apply for a grant in collaboration with their school administration to implement their action plans.
This SPAN project is funded by the federal Maternal and Child Health Block Grant administered through the New Jersey Department of Health, Child and Adolescent Health Program.
Below are online toolkits and resources designed to help parents partner with their schools to create a healthy school environment.
- To access the website of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, please click on the following link: https://www.healthiergeneration.org/take_action/schools/. Register with your school for access to free information and resources to promote healthy eating and physical activity at school.
- To access Action for Healthy Kids, please click on the following link: http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/what-we-do/parents-for-healthy-kids. Register for free and gain access to Parent Leadership resources, including archived webinars and fact sheets to promote healthy eating and physical activity at school.
- To access the Parent School Advocacy Toolkit from the Chef Ann Foundation, please click on the following link: http://www.chefannfoundation.org/for-parents/parent-advocacy-toolkit/.
- To access the CDC’s Parents for Healthy Schools resources, please click on the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/parentengagement/parentsforhealthyschools.htm.
- For access to ideas and resources for a healthy school from the National PTA (Healthy Lifestyles), please click on the following link: http://www.pta.org/programs/content.cfm?ItemNumber=4280&navItemNumber=4216
- To access Sustainable Jersey for Schools, with grant opportunities and best practices for health and wellness actions at schools, please click on the following link: http://www.sustainablejerseyschools.com/.
- To access Healthy Schools Network, Inc., a clearinghouse with resources on children’s environmental health in schools (avoiding exposure to toxic materials), please click on the following link: http://www.healthyschools.org/index.html
Parents as Champions Staff conduct workshops throughout the state.