By Jueseppi B.
Waterford, Michigan Students Get Onboard the “New-Trition” Train
Posted by Doreen Simonds, Associate Director, Nutrition and Purchasing Services, Waterford Public Schools, Waterford, Michigan on March 27, 2013
Student with “Diggin,” the “New-Trition” train conductor (nutrition mascot) for the Waterford schools. (Photo courtesy of Waterford Public Schools)
“Let’s Move! and get on the right track” became our mission a few short years ago at Waterford. Our journey began with a Michigan Team Nutrition Wellness grant that taught us about the HealthierUS School Challenge and the many wellness and menu changes we needed. Our first focus was encouraging students to embrace new foods.
First, we started a “Fruity Friday” program. One Fruity Friday, we featured fresh pears from our local farmer’s market, and one little girl asked how to eat it, saying, “I’ve never seen a pear out of a can before!” We also started a Veggie Venture school garden.
Another focus area was nutrition education. We turned our K5 cafeterias into WSDepot Cafés with the creation of “Tracker, the New-Trition Train” and his conductor “Diggin” (the mascot who gets kids to “Dig In” to good nutrition). Tracker, Diggin and friends began to grace the cafés and schools via murals, a book series, nutrition skills visits and MyTrackerTray Taste Tests. Our community sponsors helped create student teams and a district Wellness Committee. All these moves helped us to meet the Healthier US School Challenge and the new school menu requirements.
This year we moved full steam ahead with the new school meal standards. We kicked off the school year with a Fuel Up to Play60 “Let’s MOOve” event. Our students attempted a Guinness World Record (“The Longest Sequential Toast”) by toasting healthy choices like no-fat milk and whole grains.
By using Tracker and his Train Gang, we helped students identify food groups and menu items and make sound choices. Our “Fruit First” program, starring Frieda the Fruit Train, encouraged students to take their fruit at the start of the line. Victor the Veggie Train promoted tasty veggie choices. We started a “MyAppTray” program to help the older students understand the new meal patterns. We’re thrilled that our adventure will be moving along this year with a USDA Farm to School Planning Grant. Our kids will be able to enjoy even more fresh and local choices and “dig in” to the good earth with help from “Diggin.”
Our kids are our true engineers; they keep us rolling along this wholesome adventure!
Let’s Move! is celebrating National Nutrition Month with stories of school cafeterias serving healthy meals across the country. Learn more about the historic, healthy changes to school meals.
First Lady Calls on School Leadership and School Champions to Get America’s Kids Moving
Posted by Ali Kelley on March 22, 2013
Earlier this week, the First Lady hosted two calls to ask school leadership and prospective school champions – including teachers, staff, parents, and community members – to join the new Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative. An unprecedented collaboration of organizations across sectors, the new program will bring physical activity back to America’s schools through a simple, six-step process that helps all students get moving before, during, and after the school day.
The First Lady acknowledged that schools today face tight resources and difficult decisions, emphasizing that making time for physical activity can actually help schools advance their other priorities. She explained how the new program is designed to make it easier for schools to create active environments and she urged everyone – from school administrators and boards, to P.E. teachers and parents – to go to LetsMoveSchools.org to join.
“I want to thank all of you for the outstanding leadership that you provide every single day in schools across this country. And I know that you all know better than just about anyone else how important physical activity is for our children’s health and for their well-being.
You all know the statistics about the impact that it has on their behavior and their success in school and in life. But the fact is that more than ever before I know that many of you are stretched very thin. You’re facing budget cuts. You are juggling all kinds of competing demands. And I know that as the years pass, it can feel like it’s getting harder to find the time and the money to help your students be active.
And that is precisely why a few weeks ago we launched Let’s Move! Active Schools, because we wanted to give all of you the tools and the support you need to bring physical activity back to your schools.
At the end of the day, whether or not this new initiative is successful will really be up to folks like all of you. And that’s why I thought it was so important for me to be on this call today. Because we need you, and I want to make sure you understand how much you play a key role in bringing this effort to life, because we need your energy, we need your effort. More importantly, we need your imagination to make this initiative work.”
The First Lady was joined by an impressive and diverse lineup of guest speakers, each of whom has been a pioneer in creating active school environments. The guests included:
- Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Deb Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary & Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
- Dr. John Skretta, Superintendent, Norris School District 160 in Firth, NE
- Jill Wynns, Board Member, San Francisco County and Unified School District & Immediate Past President, California School Boards Association
- Mike Humphreys, P.E. Teacher & U.S. Department of Education Classroom Fellow in Arlington, VA
- Apryl Krakovsky, Parent & Founder of “My School in Motion” in Overland, CA
- Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
- Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let’s Move!
These leaders shared accounts of the how regular physical activity is benefiting their students’ health, happiness, and performance in school. They suggested innovative, cost effective solutions for making physical activity a part of every school day, and they emphasized the importance of leadership and recognition at every level.
So, what are you waiting for? No matter who you are, you have a role to play in activating the schools in your area. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Get informed. Learn about the many benefits of regular physical activity.
- Talk to your kids. Find out how much they’re moving throughout the day.
- Talk to your school. Tout the benefits of physical activity and ask how you can help create an active environment.
- Build a network of support. Engage other parents and community members to raise awareness and help your school become a Let’s Move! Active School. Spread the word with this fact sheet.
- Get started! Sign your school up at www.LetsMoveSchools.org.
Watch the First Lady’s launch of Let’s Move! Active Schools as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! third anniversary.
First Lady Michelle Obama exercises with kids during a “Let’s Move! Active Schools” event at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Ali Kelley is the Deputy Director of Let’s Move Outside!
Healthy Game-Day Meals with the LA Kings & LA Galaxy
Published on Mar 27, 2013
Members of the Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy and the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings discuss their go-to healthy game-day meals.
Let’s Move! London
Published on Aug 3, 2012
First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a Let’s Move! event for about 1,000 American military children and American and British students to engage them in the spirit of the Olympic Games. The event includes sports stations, performances and Olympic and Paralympic legends including the members of the U.S. delegation along with David Beckham, Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Teresa Edwards, Emily Hughes, Sarah Hughes, Shawn Johnson, Carl Lewis, Dikembe Mutombo, Dara Torres, members of the 2012 US Track and Field Team and Manchester United legends, among others.
On Board with The First Lady: Let’s Move! 3rd Anniversary Tour
Published on Mar 8, 2013
On Board with the First Lady! First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Mississippi, Chicago and Missouri on the Let’s Move! 3rd anniversary tour. She meet with elementary school kids and teachers, announced the Let’s Move Healthy Schools initiative, filmed a lunch-lady cook off with Rachael Ray and visited a Walmat neighborhood market to see changes that have been made to make healthy foods more accessible and affordable to families.
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