Ideas from the Innovative Approaches to Health & Wellness Session

Thanks again to all of you who participated in the “Innovative Approaches to Health & Wellness” session at the May 4th School Health NJ Summit. Your ideas are listed below and are grouped in one or more of the components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. Resources are identified to help you with next steps. Let’s keep the conversation going and let us know what you are up to!

Physical Education and Activity

● More physical activity clubs and activities – ie. volley ball and running
● Certain exercise days at school
● Fun–run fitness activity and fundraiser
● Family Fitness Night
● Offer levels of physical activity to engage more students
● Stationary bikes in class
● Physio balls
● Activity breaks – jumping jacks
● Promoting sports involvement regardless of talents
● Physical activity life skills (K through life) – yoga, bikes, walking, running – partner with community
Action for Healthy Kids
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
NJ Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Rutgers – Get Moving, Get Healthy
Safe Routes to School program
Walk Bike to School Day

Nutrition Services

● Better and healthier lunch
● Healthy snack preparation
● Healthy shopping trips
● Healthy recipes
● Cooking matters
● Cooking programs/activities to promote a healthy diet
● School/community garden
● Healthy eating council
● Salad bars at lunch
● Promotion of water and re-usable water bottles
Action for Healthy Kids
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Farm to School program
HealthierUS School Challenge
Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools
NJ School Breakfast Campaign
Rutgers – and
School Nutrition Programs

Healthy Physical School Environment

● Healthy cleaning products
● Optional standing desks
NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Healthy Social-Emotional School Climate and Culture

● Better safety/lock down drills
● Teacher and student communication and bonding
● Student voices/teacher-talk activities
● Homeroom reps/student voice in health and wellness
● Ways students contribute ideas – motivation
● Non-academic peer interactions
● Youth advisory councils
● Student-led conferences
● Student-led Meditation/Mindfulness – 10 min morning; 10 min end of day
● Daily: morning or after-school meeting – Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation,
Mindfulness (Mondays) for staff, students, community
Woosah Wednesdays (I had no idea what “woosah” meant. I turned to urban
dictionary – meditative breaths to reduce anxiety with the intention of
eliminating anger or frustration) for students/teachers
● Expressive arts
● More clubs that involve brain and brawn
● Find a connection to engage athletes who are struggling academically
● Social emotional well-being
Campaign Connect, Center for Supportive Schools
Inclusive Schools Climate Initiative/School Climate Transformation Project, Center for Applied
Psychology, Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey, 848-932-5900
School Culture and Climate Initiative, a partnership of United Way and the College of Saint Elizabeth Center for Human and Social Development

Family Engagement

● Family Fitness night
● Student-led parental involvement
Action for Healthy Kids
Centers for Disease Control Parents for Healthy Schools site
National PTA Healthy Lifestyles
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), Parents as Champions (PAC) for Healthy Schools training

Community Involvement

● Partner with community on physical activity life skills (K through life) – yoga, bikes, walking, running
American Heart Association
Morristown Memorial Hospital
Partners in Prevention
Sustainable Jersey
Lastly, the New Jersey Department of Education lists, as applicable, NJ State initiatives, related state statutes and regulations, applicable government agencies and professional associations, as well as resources and survey data results for each of the WSCC components.

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