School Nurse
District Nurse

Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness




One in three children aged 10-17 are overweight or obese in Michigan and across the country. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for developing other chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and sleep apnea.  The nutrition and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents which impact health and wellness can be influenced by many sectors of society, including families, schools, communities, and the media. Our Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program is helping our school focus on sustainable school interventions that target healthy behaviors and contribute to a culture of wellness at our school. Healthy behaviors, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming overweight and obese.  Through Building Healthy Communities, our school health team is working to establish an environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors and, in turn, provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice those behaviors every day. If student health is a priority for you and you can positively contribute to our efforts in creating a healthier school environment, please contact the school office and ask to join our team today!


These are the physical activity and physical education components our school selected for students to enjoy:


Classroom Physical Activity Breaks

Top 10 Ways to GoNoodle at Home

Our school program, Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness, is providing teachers with the GoNoodle Plus, to help create a healthier school environment. Your student is participating in exclusive games and activities that incorporate movement into core-subjects to develop fluency. Teachers can even create custom sets of review questions to use with GoNoodle Plus games.  Ask your student about GoNoodle and explore together some ways to enjoy the program at home, too.  Here are 10 great ways to GoNoodle with your kids:


1. Start the day off with a positive mindset. Whether it be a school day, lazy weekend morning, or before summer camp, starting the day off with a positive thought and motivation helps a child’s mood and self-confidence. GoNoodle’s Think About It series is perfect for giving kids one positive thought to carry with them all day. One option: Celebrate the New Day.

2. Play time with friends and family. Having a play date or just need something to keep kiddos from telling saying the infamous, “I’m bored!”? GoNoodle is the answer. Kids love sharing GoNoodle with their friends, and singing and dancing along! Put kids in the driver’s seat to show off their favorites. Awesome Rainbows by Koo Koo Kangaroo is a fave!

3. Stay active together! No time for the gym because of hectic schedules? Wrack up a few minutes of movement with GoNoodle. These kid-friendly workouts are fun (and challenging!) for adults too. Try Total Motion with Fresh Start Fitness. Feel the burn for 20 continuous minutes!

4. Motivation Station. Need an extra carrot to dangle in front of kids to get them to follow directions, get chores done, or eat their veggies? Promise a few minutes of GoNoodle time at the end. Works like a charm! Let them pick their own GoNoodle reward! Anything by Run with US or Run Like a Kitty OR Kitty High Five.

5. Homework headaches? All kids need a minute or three to regroup, refocus, and re-energize during homework time. Short bursts of activity actually make the brain function better, it’s science! One option: Disco Brain.

6. Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Rain? Snow? Heat wave? Whatever the weather, GoNoodle keeps kids moving with Mega Mixes – mash-ups of the most popular GoNoodle videos! One option: Mega Mix #4.

7. Road Trip? Headed to see Aunt Lulubelle and Uncle Shish Kabob, and need to get the wiggles out during a potty break? Bust out the tablet or smartphone for a parking lot dance party! Try: Happy with Zumba Kids.

8. Game night. Take a break from sitting around the table with board games by adding GoNoodle games! Check out: Ultimate Champ Training

9. Saturday Night Fever! Have a family-wide dance party in the living room! Awesome entertainment without paying a babysitter. Some family picks: Get Yo Body Movin’Call Me Maybe, or anything with Zumba Kids.

10.   Calm down before bedtime. Wound up after a busy day?  Let GoNoodle help get everyone ready for Mr. Sandman with calming relaxation. Try: Flow or anything by Maximo, a yoga-instructing monkey!


Active Recess

Improve Classroom Behavior with Active Recess

Recess allows children to release energy and reduce stress, both of which help improve attention in the classroom and decrease disruptive behavior. In fact, there is increasing evidence for the association between physical activity, cardiovascular fitness, weight and cognitive function during childhood and adolescence. Evidence also suggests that these variables are linked to academic achievement. Through the new Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness, our school building received a large recess cart loaded with physical activity equipment and activity cards. These new resources will help get our students moving more and increase their amount of physical activity at school.  The recess cart has been wheeled out onto the playground each day for students to use during all recess periods and has been used for indoor recess during inclement weather conditions.  Our overall goal is to increase the number of students being physically active during recess. The Building Healthy Communities program is helping our school create a healthier school environment. 


Quality Physical Education

How to Stay Active as a Family

As part of our Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program, our students are learning how to stay active through the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum™ (EPEC), a nationally recognized program helping students achieve the skills, confidence, and motivation to be physically active today and tomorrow. Here are 10 simple ways to reinforce what your student is learning at school by being active as a family at home:

1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of challenges (find an orange leaf, get a neighbor's signature, snap a photo of a playground, etc.), split your family into teams, set a time limit and then head off (on foot or on bike) to see who can complete the most items.

2. Take a Hike

Explore your neighborhood, a local zoo, or even a park in the winter! While the cold weather may be intimidating and keep you indoors, you actually can warm up really fast if you are moving!

3. Set 'Mileage' Goals for the Weekend

Decide as a family how many steps, or how many miles, you want to travel over the weekend, then have fun trying to reach the goal. You can use pedometers to measure steps taken while running errands, going on hikes, playing tag and more, and can challenge the family to increase your goal each weekend.

4. Play Some Games

Play a game that requires movement like charades, Twister, or video games with dancing,

5. Family Olympics

Get together with a group of families and compete in events like hula-hoops (super fun in the winter), 50-yard dash, relay race, snowman building, or a winter obstacle course. You can even make it an annual event!

6. Family Fitness Classes

If you like a more structured routine, try a fitness class designed for families, like stroller workouts, mom/dad and baby workouts or family yoga.

7. Do Chores Together

Vacuuming, washing floors, collecting and taking out the garbage, and even doing laundry work your muscles and burn calories while teaching your kids the value of responsibility. Make chores fun by setting a time limit and turning up the music while you work together as a family.

8. Plan Seasonal Outdoor Activities

Swimming, biking, canoeing and hiking are great in the summer, while sledding, ice skating, building a snowman or skiing are fun – and great for your fitness goals – in the winter.

9. Play Together

Tag, hide-and-go-seek, double-dutch jump rope, and dancing are so much fun you won't even realize it's exercise in disguise. These are not just warm weather activities, they are great in the winter too!

10. Try Some Family Sports

Go to a local gym or fitness facility and swim, shoot some baskets, play volleyball, or lift weights. These activities give you quality time as a family while staying active


Stay tuned...

Rachel Palmer
District Nurse