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This week’s healthy schools highlights

The chocolate milk wars: A mom’s perspective

As any parent knows, you can prepare healthy food but you can’t make your kids eat it. So there are a few tricks we parents have up our culinary sleeves, particularly when it comes to calcium. Two words: chocolate milk. Read more in Time Magazine’s Healthland.

Junk food nation: How parents are ruining kids’ health

Health experts say diets of children in the United States have deteriorated dramatically over the past two generations, leading to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes, both of which put children at risk for other diseases and shorter lives. But as many parents know, eating healthy isn’t always easy, especially when you’re a mom of three growing boys, says Raleigh, N.C.-resident Michelle Morton. Read more in MyHealthNews Daily.

Cameras in U.S. schools to record calorie counts

The next time children in some elementary schools in the state of Texas try to sneak extra french fries onto their tray in the cafeteria line, the eye in the sky will be watching them. Read more in Reuters.

Elementary school students cultivate garden

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)-Students at Heritage Elementary School are on the right track to leading a healthy lifestyle. Earlier this month, they won the Fit 4 Colorado School Challenge, which encourages schools to develop programs that focus on healthy eating and exercise. Watch this CBS4 report.

Couch potato lifestyles ‘creating weak children’

Childhoods dominated by computer games, TV and Facebook have resulted in a generation of ten-year-old weaklings, research suggests. Modern primary school children are less fit and less muscular than they were a decade ago, leaving them unable to carry out simple physical exercises that youngsters once took in their stride. Read more in the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

Elementary kids prepare to tackle Bolder Boulder

SUPERIOR – Hundreds of children at Superior Elementary have spent the past several weeks preparing to run the BolderBoulder 10 kilometer race on Memorial Day. Check out this 7NEWS report.

Adams 14 receives Magna Award for school health efforts

COMMERCE CITY – Adams County School District 14’s school-based health centers have received a 2011 Magna Award for its school clinics and emphasis on student health.

The Magna Awards is a national recognition program co-sponsored by American School Board Journal, the National School Boards Association, and Sodexo School Services that honors school board best practices and innovative programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.

Access to healthcare is limited for many in Adams 14, due to low-income status, lack of health insurance or geographic isolation. Additionally, there are very few private medical practices in the community, and none that will serve the indigent. The district understands that access to healthcare improves students’ lives inside and outside the classroom. It is incredibly important to have school-based health centers throughout the district, so students can easily access the care they need to thrive and succeed in the 21st Century.

“Students perform better when they are healthy, and ready to learn when they show up for class,” said Dr. Susan Chandler, Adams 14 superintendent. “Adams 14’s school-based health centers bring the doctor’s office to the school, so students avoid health-related absences and get support to succeed in the classroom.”

Adams 14 has a rich history of providing comprehensive preventive and primary health care services to students. More than 30 years ago, Adams 14 was one of the first school districts in Colorado to provide school-based health care services when it collaborated with Community Health Services to open a clinic near Adams City High School. Since then, Adams 14 has valued its partnership with Community Health Services, which provides vital health and wellness services for students across the District.

“I truly believe school-based health clinics have improved our attendance rate,” said Adams 14 school board member Jeannette Lewis. “It’s critical that all school districts support school-based clinics. They improve the quality of both students’ lives and their education.

Click here to access a video showcasing Adams 14’s award-winning school-based health centers.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.