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The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) and Chatham County Schools (CCS) have been preparing for some exciting school health activities this upcoming school year.  Take a look at what’s in store for our schools, students, and school staff!

Healthy Habits Campaign

New ClassroomThis year marks the pilot of the Healthy Habits Campaign, a project that the CCPHD and CCS have collaborated on to help teachers and schools promote health.  The Healthy Habits Campaign has assigned each month a healthy habit theme (for example, September’s theme is healthy eating) and will provide teachers and schools with resources for promoting each month’s theme.

This approach has been inspired by CCS’ existing Character Education program, general social marketing principles, and the CDC’s Coordinated School Health Model. Giving each topic a month or in some cases two months of focus will hopefully be an effective way of helping each health message to sink in and lead to students making healthier choices. Keep an eye on the Chatham County Public Health Department’s Healthy Habits Campaign website for updates and more information.

School Wellness Constitution

The Chatham County Public Health Department and Chatham County’s Team Fit have created a new tool to help schools plan for and institutionalize healthy changes.  Those schools that complete the school wellness constitution planning tool will receive a copy of their school’s wellness constitution to post in their school.  This document will be a fun way to demonstrate and remind community members of the school’s commitment to promoting health during the school day. To learn more about the school wellness constitution planning tool or start the process at your school, contact Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8514 or elizabeth.morris@chathamnc.org.

Health Presentations

The Chatham County Public Health Department will continue its popular health presentations program in the county’s classrooms this schools year.  Public Health Educators and other staff from the CCPHD offer presentations for K-12 classes on nutrition, physical activity, reproductive health, and many other topics.  CCPHD staff are also available to present workshops for school staff and parent groups. Last year, we gave 136 presentations, reaching students in all grades, and this year we hope to do even more.  Download our updated list of presentations at www.chathamnc.org/schoolhealth.

Just Push Play

The Chatham County Public Health Department worked with Bonlee, Moncure and Horton Middle School this past spring to secure an Eat Smart Move More Community grant to help increase students’ physical activity at these schools.  To work toward this goal, this year, these schools will begin implementing Be Active NC’s Just Push Play program.  They worked over the summer to start pulling together school wellness teams, and this fall these teams will begin meeting and planning for healthy changes for their schools.  Between the work of these schools and other projects happening all over the county, there will be a lot of exciting school health news this year, so stay tuned!

If you have questions about or are interested in learning more about any of the initiatives included in this post, please contact Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8514 or elizabeth.morris@chathamnc.org.

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