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Wellness Around The District

posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:01 PM by Dawna Green   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 11:12 AM ]
November 2011 Spotlight
Wellness Around The District

Students at North Yarmouth Memorial School During a Wellness Assembly

MSAD #51 is committed to the physical and emotional well being of its students and staff. The district encourages healthy living for students at all grade levels. Mabel I. Wilson and North Yarmouth Memorial School were recently recognized as two of seventeen schools in Maine to receive a Healthier US School Challenge Award. Joining a select group of schools from around the nation, our elementary schools were commended by the federal government for fostering an environment of wholesome nutrition and physical activity. To qualify for the award, Director of Food Services Jon Carlson completed a comprehensive application documenting current school practices, which received extensive review at the state and national level. Some of the criteria Mabel I. Wilson and North Yarmouth Memorial School adopted were a different fruit and vegetable served every day of the week, whole grain offerings served three days a week and nutrition education provided to students in the classroom. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen stated of the award winning schools: “These seventeen schools voluntarily chose to raise the bar in [the areas of nutritious foods and ample physical activity] so their students could attend school in an environment focused on good-decision-making and lifelong health and wellness.”

At North Yarmouth Memorial School, a Wellness Committee meets regularly to develop programs that emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles. A walking group called the Memorial Milers began this fall, giving students the opportunity to circumnavigate the campus with an adult chaperone during recess. Students can still talk with their friends, but instead of chatting by the playground equipment, they are covering ground. Memorial Milers record how far they collectively travel each recess. This distance will be tracked as the year progresses. In addition to starting the walking group, the NYMS Wellness Committee is planning four assemblies to be conducted throughout the year, covering the topics of Healthy Food Choices, Kindness and Respect, Bicycle Safety and Project ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously).

Greely Middle School has its own Wellness Committee, which has worked primarily on healthy food choices. The committee discusses food options in the cafeteria, and advocated for the creation of a salad bar, which is now available every day except shortened Wednesdays. The committee worked with Jon Carlson to create a “Healthy Snack List”, available for teachers to utilize when purchasing treats for their classes. The Wellness Committee plans all three school-wide trimester celebrations, ensuring that wellness is a top consideration in the structure of the parties

Greely High School emphasizes the well-being of its students and staff. Three times a year, teachers use professional development time to focus on wellness. Teachers offer various activities, and all staff are expected to participate. The activities encourage healthy living, and are collaborative in nature. Past offerings include nature walks, running, basketball, pottery and yoga. The goal is to build community while focusing on promoting healthy living practices among faculty.

MSAD #51 recognizes the important connection between healthy bodies and minds and optimal learning. The district strives to create an ideal learning environment for its students, in part by encouraging healthy lifestyles.