Posts filed under ‘Health & Wellness’
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, students representing 14 Atlanta Public Schools attended the 4th Annual Student Wellness Ambassadors (SWA) Leadership Academy. This event was held in conjunction with the Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully (C.H.O.I.C.E.S) Children’s Expo at the Adamsville Recreation Center. Focusing on the theme, “Fitness for the fun of it,” students participated in activities promoting healthy living by visiting vendor nutrition exhibits, racing in team relays, and dancing to the infamous “Let’s Move!” slide.
Featured speakers included Councilman C. T. Martin and Dr. Patricia Harris, Director of Fulton County Health Department, who shared the importance of developing healthy habits early on. Students from Mays and Therrell earned community service volunteer hours for assisting during the event. Students from Parkside, Coretta Scott King and Mays were featured as speakers on the program.
The APS Schools represented were:
Parkside, Garden Hills, Cont. Colony, Miles, Fickett, Cascade, Heritage, Hutchinson, Thomasville Heights, Scott, Peyton Forest, Young, Coretta Scott King, Bunche
Strong4Life, a children’s healthcare of Atlanta movement, hosted a pep rally at Whitefoord Elementary on February 15th. The gymnasium was full of energy and excitement as the host and DJ encouraged students to be strong for life by following the 4 Healthy Habits.
The 4 Healthy Habits include:
1. Drinking Water
2. Eating fruits and vegetables
3. Limiting your screen time
4. Being Active
“It’s easy and yummy to be strong for life,” said the Strong4Life host. The pep rally was interactive as a competition was held between three volunteers to see who can fill up their plates with fruits and vegetables the fastest. A wooden scale was used to measure the balance between screen time and activity time. Strong4Life gave away challenge packs, waterbottles, and T-shirts to every student at Whitefoord. They also ended the pep rally by teaching the students the “Gangnam Style” dance routine.
“I learned to be strong for life, and it was really fun,” says Anquandra Burley, 4th grader at Whitefoord. “I am really looking forward to them coming back next year.”
On February 8th, the kindergarteners at Toomer Elementary School brought their teddy bears to be treated at the Teddy Bear Hospital. A group of 15 Emory medical students posed as doctors and examined the teddy bears that the children brought in as patients. The doctors assessed the teddy bears by taking x-rays, checking their blood pressure, heart rate, and more. The children participated in the check-up by examining their eyes, giving them shots, and listening for their heartbeat. They were fully engaged in the activity and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“The idea is to allow the children to experience the medical interaction through the eyes of their teddy bear,” says Chris Lewis, Director of Emory’s Teddy Bear Hospital. “It’s all about getting the children excited about health in a setting where they feel comfortable.”
As the kindergarten classes rotated through the examination room, they received an interactive lecture on health. The lesson covered topics including public health, safety issues, healthy foods, the importance of exercise, and more. They were also introduced to a skeleton and learned about bones and other parts of the body.
“Initially, the kids were actually quite scared of the skeleton,” says Vineet Tiruvadi, an Emory medical student. “Once they warmed up to the skeleton, they loved it, and the skeleton even got a few hugs at the end of the day. It was great to see the children get over their initial fear of the skeleton, just like their initial fear of a doctor.”
This February, communities across the nation will celebrate National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are redefining health for kids and teens by providing access to mental health services and oral health care, working to prevent obesity, and addressing other issues that affect young people’s lives.
There is an ongoing need to invest in health care for our nation’s young people. Here in Atlanta, Georgia we already have a resource that is providing access to quality health care for our students – the Whitefoord Community Program’s school-based health centers (SBHC) at Whitefoord Elementary and Maynard Jackson High school. But without sustainable funding we could lose access to this vital resource. We at the Whitefoord Community Program urge the President and Congress to look to SBHCs as they work to improve health care outcomes for kids and teens.
The Whitefoord Community Program’s SBHC’s are two of 1,800 SBHCs across the nation that are providing access to quality, coordinated health care for 1.8 million students. SBHCs are on the front lines tackling the issues that affect young people’s lives, like bullying, drug abuse, violence, and other problem behaviors.
The Whitefoord SBHCs have redefined health for kids and teens here in Atlanta, Georgia by providing quality and affordable primary health care services including dental care, sports physicals and much more. And although we are located at the 2 schools the services are available to students throughout APS.
“So, what can you do to celebrate SBHC month?”
- Parents– Make an appointment!
- Students–Tell your friends about us!
- Principals, Teachers, Coaches– Refer your students to us!
- School Nurses– Ask Nurses Gardner, Kelly or Dudley about us!
- Community leaders– Partner with us!
- Civic leaders–Advocate for us!
- Everyone- come visit us for an Open House Reception on February 27, 2013!
- For questions or an appointment call 404-588-0101 or 404-373-5350.
Emory University Pipeline pins new students from the School of Health and Medical Sciences at South Atlanta
The Emory University Health Sciences Pipeline Program is a multiple-year mentoring and academic enrichment experience for high school students from the School of Health and Medical Sciences at South Atlanta. Founded in 2007 by medical students Samuel Funt and Zwade Marshall and managed by volunteer Emory student leadership, the program meets after school once per week for problem-based learning (PBL) sessions in health sciences. Three cohorts of high school students are paired with undergraduate mentors and led by graduate student instructors from the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing to study infectious disease and reproductive health (10th grade), neurology and mental health (11th grade), and predictive and community health (12th grade), culminating in a student-led community needs assessment.
The program’s goals are to improve high school students’ knowledge of health and health science careers, promote healthy attitudes and behaviors, enhance college readiness, develop academic and leadership skills, and provide rewarding mentoring experiences. Through the Emory Pipeline, students improve their understanding of various health lessons, science lessons and the medical professions. Most importantly, they develop long-term mentoring relationships with college students pursuing careers in the health sciences. Pipeline’s mentoring focuses on enhancing students’ college readiness, academic planning, career awareness, leadership and study skills. “Pipeline helped me connect my passion with my future career goals through talking with my mentor as well as helping me gain a deeper understanding of what college experience will be like, ” says School of Health & Sciences at South Atlanta student Vernesha Moore.
Last year’s graduating class of Emory Pipeliners were offered $2.5M in scholarships and included two Gates Millennium Scholars. This fall, those students are attending colleges including Spelman, Morehouse, University of Georgia at Athens, Agnes Scott, Clark Atlanta, and Emory University.
Mary Lin students participated in a spectacular flash mob at the Candler Park Fall Festival on Saturday, October 13th.
Approximately 100-125 students, parents, and teachers danced enthusiastically to the song “Firework” by Katy Perry. The students began practicing for this event four weeks ago, which was coordinated by Peggy Edwards, a parent at Mary Lin Elementary. Practice sessions were regularly provided twice a week, once at 7:15 a.m. and at 2:45 p.m. The practices were optional to anyone who was interested, and the dance choreography was also posted on Youtube in order for students to practice at home.
This flash mob served a multi-purpose for the Mary Lin community. It promoted a healthy lifestyle of physical exercise in a fun way for the children, but it also uplifted the unity and strength of the community as a whole. “It was really one of the best things I’ve been involved with in a long time,” says Peggy Edwards. “The morale of the community has been pretty low for the last year, and this project brought everyone together in a powerful way.”
The Mary Lin staff and parents were very supportive of this project as a teacher displayed the choreography video on the promethean board 5 minutes before dismissals, PE classes used the dance as a warm up exercise, and students were practicing at home and proudly performing the dance for their families. Peggy was pleasantly surprised as the flash mob literally became a mob of over 100 people, when she was expecting about 50 participants. Teachers, parents, and students who had never attended the practices were familiar with the routine and joined in as the music started. Many appreciative notes and messages were sent to Peggy expressing how this project brightened their community spirit and brought smiles to their childrens’ faces.
“That’s what’s so great about our school, that we’re such a tight community, and it was really cool to do something fun together,” Peggy concludes.
Ms. Tiarra Moore is a science instructional coach at Crawford Long Middle School. We recently visited her and her students tending to the garden and building a habitat with the assistance of Pike Nurseries. Ms. Moore is also the school’s garden manager with a host of ideas and awards to help her maintain Crawford Long Middle School’s expanding gardening goals. She has an impressive list of grants and awards she has won to establish, maintain and expand Crawford Long Middle School’s garden:
2010 Atlanta Families’ Award for Excellence in Education Award
Purpose: To establish Long Middle School’s first organic garden.
2011 Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Grant
Purpose: To expand the garden by purchasing additional raised garden beds complete with soil, fertilizer, and irrigation.
2011 Fruit Orchard Recipient (Atlanta Local Food Initiative)
Purpose: To purchase fruit trees and berry bushes to create and orchard in the garden area.
2012 State Farm Youth Service America Grant
Purpose: To purchase building and garden materials to expand the garden by building six additional raised garden beds and purchase soil, fertilizer, and vegetable plants. Community assistance was provided by parents and the Jonesboro Road Home Depot.
2012 Communities in Schools Choose Success Grant
Purpose: To purchase 13 raised bed garden kits, seeds, and soil to give to families as part of the “Communities Gardens to Go” program to allow families to start home gardens.
2012 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant
Purpose: To purchase three raised garden beds and plant vegetables with a multicultural focus.
2012 Captain Planet Foundation Grant
Purpose: To certify the garden as a wildlife habitat, plant fruit trees, a wildflower meadow, and create a pond.
2012 Whole Kids Foundation Grant
Purpose: To expand and irrigate the garden and purchase a Windowfarms vertical, hydroponic growing system that allows year-round growing in almost any window.
In addition to this list, the garden at Crawford Long Middle School has provided garden and salad day picnics for students and teachers, a Georgia State University cooking class using the garden’s produce, and vegetable giveaways. Ms. Moore and her students beam with pride and are excited about their gardening efforts. Congratulations to Ms. Moore and the students at Crawford Long Middle School.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Strong 4 Life has partnered with Thomasville to build relationships, recruit, and empower students, teachers, and parents in order to change habits and to make healthy eating and drinking choices. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Strong 4 Life and Thomasville are united against the rise of childhood obesity, the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other serious health and medical problems.
Strong 4 Life and Thomasville are now partners in an effort to help our students, parents, teachers and community to adopt healthy habits. Students pledge to Be Active, fill half their plates with vegetables and fruits, drink more water and limit sugar drinks, and limit screen time to one hour.
At Thomasville Heights is a healthy hallway school displaying beautiful posters that promote physical activity, drinking plenty of water, and making healthy food choices. Each Thomasville child now has their own water bottle to encourage them to rehydrate with water. Thomasville also rewards its students for assignments well done or class participation with fun items, healthy snacks and extra time for recess or physical activity.
Thomasville believes that reminding children to gradually incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives will go a long way in effecting long-term behavior change.