Telling Your School Wellness Story
We at the WELL Campaign believe that while every school is different, every child deserves a safe, supportive environment to learn. We believe that a healthy school is one that nurtures the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of every child. We believe that our New York schools must have the state governments’ support in order to put kids first.
We believe that, together, we can find a path forward. But we need your help.
We need real people who can help these stories come alive by explaining why a school that prioritizes children’s health and well-being matters.
We need legislators and policymakers to understand why it is necessary to provide school districts the resources they need to support these schools.
Let’s tell your story. Here are some suggestions that we hope you find helpful:
WHAT do you believe when it comes to schools supporting children’s health and well-being? How does this belief connect to your core values or life experiences? Has it changed over time? How and why has it changed?
Food for thought: (A) tell it like you mean it; (B) share WHAT you believe in a way that is personal and real; (C) make your belief statement strong in what schools should be supporting; (D) explore these belief expressions in the context of your teaching and/or advocacy experiences.
WHY do you believe that school wellness needs to be a priority? WHY does it matter to you?
Food for thought: (A) explain how your students’ health and well-being affects their performance in school; (B) discuss the school’s responsibility in prioritizing student health and WHY you think it is important; (C) reflect on this in the context of your work: why was it necessary for you to advocate on behalf of school wellness?; (D) hone in on the community you serve: why is this need urgent for them?
Is the school you work in a “healthy school”? What are some of its successes and challenges
Food for thought: (A) reflect on the many different elements that go into a healthy school; (B) explain which elements are especially important to you; (C) consider the following scenarios to help you think about how to define a healthy school: imagine a cafeteria that is colorful, vibrant and decorated with informative posters of the food groups and the menu of the day; this physical environment can make eating lunch a positive learning experience. Picture a science class that uses the school garden to not only provide lab samples but also create engaging lessons on the difference between human and plant cells. On the other hand, given that physical education is a critical element of school wellness, perhaps your child’s school doesn’t have a gym. Or, if students refuse to eat the school lunch, it’s possible that children are going hungry throughout the day.
Describe a challenge or supportive experience (related to health and well-being) that you have seen a student or students encounter while in school. If you are an advocate, describe an element of health and wellness that you have advocated for; was the school/district receptive? What new changes were implemented if so? If not, what resistance did you encounter and from whom?
Food for thought: (A) keep it specific: focus on health and well-being; (B) dig deeper to explore how your school or district did or did not demonstrate a dedicated effort to being a healthy school.
IF you could talk to your legislators about school wellness what would you tell them? What would you ask them?
Food for thought: (A) your story emphasizes how urgent this is to your elected officials; (B) you will bring this campaign to life by helping us help our decision makers make it a priority.