In 2011, the Kohl’s Healthy Halls School Wellness Program started as a way to recognize health initiatives developed by school nurses, teachers, staff and administration.
Creating a healthy, supportive environment for students and staff can positively impact a student’s ability to learn. Studies have consistently shown that healthy students perform better academically and are absent less frequently.
Created as a collaborative effort between Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Kohl's Cares for Kids, the program has transitioned in 2012 to focus on childhood nutrition and physical activity. Read the 2011 inspirational success stories of healthy initiatives created by Georgia's schools.
2011 Healthy Halls School Winners:
St. Martin’s Episcopal School
Stopping Germs Before They Start
When it comes to infection prevention, St. Martin’s Episcopal School is taking the lead with their staff and students. School nurse Reid Tatum has made great strides to keep her school healthy. Over the past five years, she has taught Germ Stoppers lessons to the Beginners, Pre-K and Kindergarten classes of the school. In Germ Stoppers, Tatum teaches the students how to wash their hands, blow their noses and cover their cough properly. “The kids are proud to show how they can wash their hands,” said Tatum. Together, they sing fun songs and the students love the Germ Stopper superheroes in the lessons. Often students report that they have taught their parents and siblings the correct way to clean their hands.
Additionally, Tatum arranged for St. Martin’s annual staff flu vaccination drive to be handled internally through her office. Instead of depending on the local health department, Tatum now orders a bulk quantity of the flu vaccine with a local physician. This process enables her to keep track of which staff members have received their immunization and to gently encourage those who have not. It also gives staff members more flexibility get their flu shots around busy schedules. In the past three years the staff vaccination rate has increased from 68 percent to 92 percent.
Congratulations St. Martin’s Episcopal School and school nurse Reid Tatum!
Poplar Road Elementary School
Flu Prevention Made Easy
Poplar Road Elementary School has joined forces with the Coweta County Health Department to bring flu vaccinations to its students. In 2010, school nurse Caroline Flynt, worked with the county’s pilot flu clinic program to offer a day where students could receive their immunization at school.
Parents were sent informational sheets two weeks prior to the flu clinic, with directions on how to register their child, submit insurance policies or pay out of pocket. On the clinic date, students were able to quickly get the nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine during school hours.
The program was so well received, that it is returning to Poplar Road Elementary School for the 2011 flu season. Parents appreciate having the option of vaccinating their children without having to take time off of work and without interrupting busy schedules. This year there has already been an increase in student registrations compared to 2010. There was also a small flu outbreak among unvaccinated students last fall that has also helped drive up interest and participation.
This year, the school is also piloting a program with GlaxoSmithKlein to offer flu, Tdap, pneumonia, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines to employees. Congratulations Poplar Road Elementary School; your school has Healthy Halls.
Chestnut Mountain Elementary School
Students Get Moving With Dance Dance Revolution
Hall County has a renewed focus on health and wellness. With a goal to come the “healthiest place to go to school”, principals, teachers and school nurses are working together to combat childhood obesity. Chestnut Mountain Elementary School has implemented a new class for their students that focuses on nutrition education and physical activity through technology.
In the spring of 2011, school nurse Andrea Williamson-English worked with her fellow colleagues and principal, Dr. Sabrina May, to apply for a grant to fund this new initiative. All students, K to 5, are able to attend the 45 minute class. The first 15 minutes are devoted to lessons on nutrition and the final 30 minutes to physical activity led by P.E. teacher, Betsy Elrod.
The grant proceeds paid for a Dance Dance Revolution system that prompts students to follow along to various dance movements. The entire class is able to participate, while the first row gets to keep score and compete with each other.
Williamson-English ensures that the morning announcements match the nutrition lessons the students are receiving in class each week. The response to the class has been overwhelmingly positive. The students love the class and often stop her in the cafeteria to proudly boast about the healthy food choices they have made.
“The extra class with a physical fitness component is a special treat for the students,” Williamson-English said. “Nutrition education can be simple and easily integrated into a school day.”
River Road Elementary School and Key Elementary School
Muscogee County Fights Childhood Obesity by Making Fitness Fun