Healthy Schools Initiatives
The Office of Healthy Schools is involved in several new and ongoing initiatives that support the goals of the Mississippi Department of Education. These programs serve to assist and enhance the services and support provided local school districts in making the connection between good student health and high academic achievement. For more information on each initiative, contact the Office of Healthy Schools at 601-359-1737.
Move to Learn
Better grades. Better health. Studies have shown that physical activity increases children's ability to learn, and as fitness improves, test scores improve. That's why Move to Learn incorporates movement in the classroom through short exercise videos and healthy lesson plans.
The Bower Foundation and the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) have launched a new campaign to help teachers incorporate physical activity into lesson plans, in collaboration with the Clinton Public Schools. The Move to Learn campaign is based on two Mississippi academic studies that show a correlation between increased fitness and improved test scores, as well as fewer absences and fewer disciplinary incidents at school. The two studies, ‘Fitness Among Mississippi Students’, and ‘Increasing Fitness to Improve Academic Performance’, also showed this correlation applies across all socioeconomic and demographic categories. These findings suggest that a good investment in the future of public education may be through an investment of student fitness.
Move to Learn is a free, easy to use tool for educators to incorporate movement and fitness into the school day. The Move to Learn website (www.movetolearnms.org) offers short exercise videos for grades K-6 and healthy lesson plans to help teachers create positive learning environments and promote effective classroom management. The website also includes examples of schools that are already using physical activity to improve academic performance.
Healthy Schools Initiative (CDC Funded Program)
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) receive federal funds for programing designed to help reduce risk factors associated with childhood and adult obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and sexual health. The program focus is on:
- The implementation of physical activity and nutrition policy;
- Building and maintaining partnerships, and
- Providing nutrition education, and physical activity opportunities.
School-Based Prevention Education Technical Assistance (CDC Funded Program)
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) receive federal funds to help implement adolescent health programs associated with preventable risk factors. This School Health Collaborative aims to improve adolescent health through:
- Strategies to prevent health conditions associated with diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity, and to promote school health.
- Increasing the number of schools that provide health education on key health problems, such as HIV, other STDs and pregnancy.
Using Books to Teach Health Concept and Skills
The Office of Healthy Schools offers Health Literacy Training that highlights the use of books to teach health concepts and skills. Training participants receive resources and training to be able to use books to teach health topics in their classrooms. Books, classroom posters, rubric cards and access to the HEAP of Books website are resources that are included in this FREE training. If you have questions concerning this training, contact the Office of Healthy Schools at 601-359-1737.
Past School Health Initiatives:
John D. Bower School Health Networks – 2006-2011