Every Kid Healthy™ Week: April 25 – 29, 2016
Every Kid Health™ Week (EKHW) is recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. It is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements. Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts our school partners are doing to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning – because healthy kids learn better! Everyone in the country can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools.
To celebrate Every Kid Healthy™ Week, schools can implement wellness initiatives to promote and reinforce healthy eating, physical activity, nutrition education and physical education in order to increase student achievement.
How does Every Kid Healthy™ Week support our project?
As a member of the Partnering4Health community, you are also part of the national movement to improve the health and wellness of K-12 students and to highlight the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning.
The Parterning4Health project strives to prevent chronic disease and to reduce health disparities in four focus areas:
- Increasing access to healthy, nutritious foods and beverages;
- Increasing opportunities for physical activity;
- Increasing the number of tobacco-free environments;
- Increasing linkages between and among social services and healthcare services.
All of these four focus areas impact the health of children and adolescents in school settings in different ways. In your messaging about Every Kid Healthy™ Week, be sure to highlight the focus area(s) that relate to your project.
How do we take action?
Here are a few ways to take action and to make the connection between your work and Every Kid Healthy™ Week:
- Use this packet to raise awareness about the Partnering4Health project in your community. You are part of a national movement to keep kids healthy – share the news with residents, media, businesses, and leaders!
- Add information about active living, healthy eating, tobacco-free environments, and/or linkages between clinical and social services to your newsletter, website, blog, or social media profile.
- Celebrate Every Kid Healthy™ Week with a special event – or join an event that is already happening in your community:
- Join and promote the national events and forums happening during Every Kid Healthy™ Week!
How do we talk about EKHW?
When communicating with community members, leaders, and partners, it’s important to be ready to talk about the issues. Here are three basic themes: school-based healthy food and beverage policies, the capacity for schools to connect families with local healthy food, healthcare and social services, and physical activity opportunities, and the importance of holistic nutrition education and physical education in schools. Here are some examples of community-based coalitions (members of The Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children Project (CPHMC) Project) who have worked with schools to improve the health of students, tapping into these three themes:
- School-Based Healthy Food and Beverage Policies:
- Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District in Wichita Falls, Texas worked to make plain drinking water available throughout the day at no cost to students in three schools in their region.
- Connecting Families with Local Healthy Food, Healthcare and Social Services
- Angelina County and Cities Health District in Angelina County, Texas; District Health Department #10 in Oceana County, Michigan; and Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District in Wichita Falls, Texas worked with local K-12 schools to increase their usage of new tools and resources with information about how to access healthy food options in their regions.
- Holistic Nutrition Education and Physical Education in Schools
- Cumberland Plateau Health District in Tazewell and Russell Counties, Virginia, successfully established gardens in four local K-12 schools and also implemented a gardening curriculum at those schools.
- Mount Rogers Health District in Marion, Virginia, worked with two local schools to integrate a healthy grocery shopping curriculum for students.
- 6% of children in the US are food insecure.
- One in three kids in the US is overweight or obese
- Schools lack the resources and support necessary to implement changes that can positively impact not only health outcomes for students but also their readiness to learn and succeed in school and beyond
- The US spends $119 billion annually on obesity-related health care costs
- One in two US students does not receive physical education in an average week
- Severely obese children miss school 4x as often as children of a healthy weight
And, don’t forget to use your local data! As part of your Partnering4Health project, your health needs assessment data has informed your choice of interventions and strategies – and remember to share those facts with your community. National data may offer a helpful overview or provide a benchmark for your own progress, but numbers from your own community about your own residents are very powerful.
How do we keep the conversation going?
Keeping your community members, coalition partners, and local leaders informed throughout Every Kid Healthy™ Week is important to maintaining momentum around the national health observance – and your project. Please feel free to use or modify any of the social media or newsletter content below.
Remember to consider your audience. Community members may not be familiar with public health jargon – and community leaders or partners may want to understand how their organizations will benefit from engaging in your work. Consider what would be meaningful in your project areas.
In addition to the sample tweets below, create your own tweets to show how your organization promotes the health topics related to Every Kid Healthy™ Week. Tailor tweets to the specific audience you are trying to reach. Consider including local resources and tweeting about events in your area, too. Also consider including graphics to increase engagement.
- Are you celebrating Every Kid Health™ Week? What are you doing? #Partnering4Health #EKHW
- Better nutrition, physical activity in schools means > lifelong health: < obesity and heart disease rates! #EKHW #Partnering4Health
- Sidewalks encourage kids 2 walk 2 school. 1 example of a #Partnering4Health coalition > safe walking routes http://www.plan4health.us/columbus-indiana-walking-toward-greatness/ #EKHW
- #WIC keeps #EveryKidHealthy every week and ensures that children enter school ready to learn #Partnering4Health #Gr8rwithWIC
- Check out this toolkit from @Act4HlthyKids to learn more about Every Kid Healthy™ Week: http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/storage/documents/EKHW/2016_Updated_Every_Kid_Healthy_Week_Toolkit.pdf
Pro tip: Don’t forget to follow others, re-tweet, and like other tweets! Twitter isn’t just about getting your message out there. It’s also about engaging with others.
In addition to the sample posts below, create posts that highlight how your coalition is working to improve children’s health. Tailor posts to the specific audience you are trying to reach. Consider including local resources, too.
Sample Facebook Posts:
- It’s Every Kid Healthy™ Week. WIC helps kids be healthy every week. Find out more here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/aws.upl/nwica.org/preventing-maternal-and-childhood-obesity.pdf
- Do schools in your area provide plain drinking water throughout the day at no cost to students? You may be surprised that many schools do not have fresh drinking water available to students. Many community-based coalitions are working on improving access to plain drinking water in schools, including Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District in Wichita Falls, Texas. greaterwithwic.org.
- Local K-12 schools can serve as a community hub, connecting families with local healthy food, healthcare and social services, and physical activity opportunities. K-12 schools can provide spaces for physical activity for non-students outside of school hours, through what are called shared use agreements. Many American Heart Association chapters are working to pass shared use agreements in local communities through the Accelerating National Community Health Outcomes through Reinforcing Partnerships (ANCHOR) initiative. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Advocate/ANCHOR-Partnership-Program_UCM_474793_SubHomePage.jsp
- An important step in reducing the rates of overweight and obese children is to support strong physical education programs and to increase students’ physical activity throughout the school day. The work of the American Heart Association’s chapter in Providence, RI focuses on schools adopting or enhancing Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP). The program framework, created by the Centers for Disease Control and SHAPE America, integrates the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of activity throughout the day, supports quality physical education programs, and draws in the help and support of families and school staff. The program trains physical activity leaders to champion the efforts in each school. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_479334.pdf
- Safe Routes to School is a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. Safe Routes to School programs throughout the country are sustained by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments. Check out the American Planning Association’s Plan4Health coalitions that are working to increase safe routes to school in communities across the country. http://www.plan4health.us/.
Sample Newsletter Language
Newsletters to partner groups can be used to promote Every Kid Healthy™ Week. You can use the sample language, linked below, in your newsletter, making sure to tailor it to your specific audience. Also, consider using graphics in your newsletter.
Every Kid Health Week Sample Newsletter
Are other resources available?
Check out the Every Kid Healthy™ Week website for additional EKHW resources. In addition, you can use the CDC Division of Community Health media center for graphics and advertisements as well as CDC’s Healthy Schools page for resources and graphics/multimedia.