April 5, 2012
Governor designates April as Healthy Schools Month
Celebration sends message that health is essential to learning
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Colorado Legacy Foundation CEO Helayne Jones and Gov. John Hickenlooper award 32 schools "Healthy Schools Champions" at the Colorado Legacy Foundation's 2012 Healthy Schools Summit.
April is Healthy Schools Month and in its honor the Colorado Legacy Foundation and the Colorado Department of Education awarded 32 “Healthy School Champions” which received a total of $42,000 for their demonstrated commitment to promoting and implementing health and wellness in their schools and communities. For a full list of award winners, visit http://www.healthyschoolchampions.org/.
“The governor’s designation of April as Healthy Schools Month sends a clear message that health is an essential component to learning,” said Kathleen Patrick, assistant director of health and wellness at the Colorado Department of Education. “The school-level success stories from our ‘Champions’ demonstrate pockets of success and a snapshot of what is happening throughout the 178 school districts in our state.”
The larger goal is to address some of the state’s most pressing health challenges. According to the 2011 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, Colorado high school students report that only 53 percent were physically active for at least 60 minutes five times per week, and only 14 percent eat three to five servings of vegetables per day. Research also supports that addressing youth mental, physical, emotional and social health has positive impact on graduation rates, class grades, test performance and attendance, self-esteem, behavior while in school, aspiration toward post-secondary education, and feelings about safety on school property.
Healthy Schools Month provides an opportunity for schools to explore and implement some of the best practices to promote healthy living in their own school culture, to identify student need and improve academic outcomes.
Healthy Kids Colorado Survey
The Colorado Department of Education will release fact sheets and overviews from the 2011 “Healthy Kids Colorado Survey” in celebration of Healthy Schools Month. The survey highlights the priority health-related attitudes and behaviors of Colorado high school youth. A full report on the findings will be available in August 2012.
The survey was administered in the fall of 2011 to ninth through 12th-graders at randomly selected public schools throughout Colorado. Participating schools utilize this data to inform the creation and development of health and wellness programs in their schools.