Promoting healthy lifestyles at school and at home is important, and PTA leaders can play a pivotal role in making sure that this is a continuous focus within our school communities.
At Monterey Highlands School, we worked cooperatively with the principal and other key stakeholders to establish our vision of improving healthy lifestyles at home and at school. We then determined our objectives relating to our vision–What are the healthy lifestyles that we wanted to promote? What should we do to help promote these lifestyles? And, what programs and resources can we create, improve, and utilize to strengthen healthy lifestyles both at home and at school?
We made sure that our focus remained constant. We incorporated healthy lifestyles at home and at school into every meeting, newsletter, agenda, minutes, communication, and activity we conducted or participated in throughout the school year.
We had some outstanding events and made great improvements. We made a humungous salad bowl and invited our entire school community to share a healthy bite. We conducted a school-wide jog and walk-a-thon where everyone was welcomed to attend. We had a certified nutrition specialist present who answered questions during our PTA meeting. We updated our safe school plan with strong community input, and we enhanced our emergency preparedness by refreshing, storing, and distributing emergency supplies both centrally and in classrooms. We increased and improved our communication in multiple languages about the available school and community resources to help support our goal of promoting healthy lifestyles both at home and at school. We invited all stakeholders to local and district workshops on various topics such as bullying, internet safety, and newly revised volunteer and safety procedures.
PTA leaders should make a concerted effort to work with the school administration and all stakeholders within a school community to promote healthy lifestyles both at school and at home. PTA leaders can and should assist in making our students both healthier and safer.
George Shafer is the 2013-2014 PTA President of Monterey Highlands School, a 2014 School of Excellence. George is a husband, a dad, a full time teacher, a part time graduate student, and a PTA volunteer at the school where his children attend. He currently serves as the PTA Parliamentarian, a member of the School Site Council, and as a District Advisory Council representative.