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This week's healthy schools highlights

Colorado Action for Healthy Kids plans parent b-fast

If you’re interested in school wellness, then EdNews Parent partner organization Colorado Action for Healthy Kids Parent Network is quickly going to become your best friend. For starters, consider attending this free breakfast for parents. You’ll get lots of great information – and a big dose of inspiration – on things you can do now to make your school a healthier place for everyone.

The roundtable and breakfast will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 10, in the Adult Learning Center’s Mountain View Room at Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd., in Denver. The event – and parking – are free.

Keynote speaker will be Krista Roberts from Slow Food Denver. Slow Food Denver’s Seed-to-Table Coalition supports school gardens and cooking classes in the metro Denver area. The event will cover school gardens, healthy fundraising, physical activity, school food, nutrition education and healthy rewards for kids.

Space is limited. So register now at Colorado Action for Healthy Kids.

Poudre schools offer “healthy school snack” guidelines

Snacks play a major role in children’s diets, and many of them are consumed at school. Promoting healthy snacking is part of PSD’s commitment to providing a healthy school environment and part of our district wellness policy. Parents, teachers, principals and students need to work together to make school snacks both nutritious and enjoyable. Read more.

P.E. class teaches kids how to fly

DENVER – When 6th grader Madison Fuentes signed up for her physical education class at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, she knew it would be a while before she and her classmates could climb up the stretchy fabrics attached to the gymnasium’s ceiling. Watch this 9News report.

Denver middle school fights obesity with ball aerobics

In recent years, Rachel B. Noel’s school nurse, Bob Williams, has suffered from health problems including Type I diabetes and coronary heart disease. After undergoing a triple by-pass surgery last year, he knew he had to make some major changes to improve his quality of life. And one of his top priorities was starting a regular exercise program.

After a little research, and some creative thinking, he came up with a unique and energizing idea – ball aerobics. The program includes a series of low-impact movements utilizing a large stability ball that not only helps build muscles and burn calories, but is a lot of fun.

This year, Williams brought the exercise program to Noel through Beacons. He specifically adapted the class for a couple of students who needed to lose significant weight. The class is held every Wednesday through Friday afternoon in the cafeteria. Thanks to a grant from the Western Dairy Council and the NFL (Fuel Up to Play 60 Keeping It Going Grant), each participant has their own ball that fits their particular body shape.

According to one student participant, whose life was in danger if he didn’t start exercising, “This class has had a huge impact on my life. I never liked exercising before. When I got on the ball, I thought ‘I can do this.’ Ball aerobics is tiring, but it’s a good program for teenagers.” So far, this student has lost 20 lbs and his school attendance and overall health is improving.

If you are a student or live in the school community, think about taking the class. For more information, please call Bob Williams at 720-424-0800.

Boulder’s New Vista High wins national green award

Students on New Vista High School’s “Earth Task Force” lobbied to get solar panels installed, put together an all-school lunch made with local ingredients and are making this year’s prom greener — with a dress exchange, alternative transportation and reusable utensils. Working with teacher mentors and the Cottonwood Institute, the students also won a $10,000 grant that will go to pay for more green projects. Read more in the Daily Camera.

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