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This week's healthy schools highlights

Free webinar on state’s new physical activity requirements

LiveWell Colorado will hold a webinar on the state’s new Physical Activity Expectations in Schools
 from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 22. 
Register now.

Earlier this year, Gov. Hickenlooper signed legislation (HB11-1069) that requires all Colorado public elementary schools to provide their students the opportunity for 600 minutes of physical activity per month (approximately 30 minutes a day) starting with the 2011-2012 school year.

Join this interactive webinar with LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado Legacy Foundation and other partners to learn what the law requires (and what it doesn’t require) and find out what efforts are underway to support schools and districts successfully implement the new standards. A question- and-answer session will be offered, and the webinar will be recorded for those who are unable to participate in the live session. Visit Colorado Action for Healthy Kids to get involved in healthy schools issues.

Flavored milk no longer a choice in LA schools

The Los Angeles Unified School District is taking a stand against child obesity, becoming the nation’s largest school system to stop serving sugar-laden flavored milk. The school board on Tuesday voted to eliminate chocolate and strawberry milk from schools as of July 1. Read more in USA Today.

Nine of 10 U.S. high school students don’t get enough exercise

About 90 percent of all U.S. high school students aren’t getting enough exercise, a new study said, indicating that a lack of activity is exacerbating the increase in childhood obesity and diabetes. Read more in Bloomberg.

Fast food outlets near schools may not be making teens fat

If a new survey of high school teens in Maine is any indication, locating fast-food outlets near schools may not actually affect students’ chances of being overweight. Read more in HealthDay News.

DPS students transform empty lot into “Garden of Youth”

The Garden of Youth, a project sponsored by Denver Public Schools, is teaming up with the Northwest Denver business community to create, cultivate, harvest and sell fresh vegetables and herbs. Several students at North High School are leading the project, thanks to the support and donations from area businesses. Since April, students have created garden plots, amended the soil and planted seeds and seedlings. Throughout the summer, they will continue to cultivate the garden and eventually sell produce to the public at the Highlands Farmer’s Market.

The goal of the project is to teach students about good nutrition and offer them the opportunity to work with local chefs to prepare nourishing food using produce from the garden. If successful, DPS hopes to replicate the project at other high schools.

The Garden of Youth will be holding an open house from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday. June 22. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend the event at the corner of Decatur Street and 33rd Avenue in northwest Denver.

Nearly 90 percent of high school students fail fitness exam

Nearly 90 percent of US high school students fail to meet the bare minimum exercise requirements for healthy living, a new government study revealed Thursday. Read more at My Fox Tampa Bay.

Thornton students have field day with new playgrounds

The three Mapleton schools on the Clayton/ Bertha Heid Campus in Thornton didn’t win the lottery, but the kids who will benefit from new playgrounds – funded by a Great Outdoors Colorado grant – may feel like they did once it is completed. Read more in the Denver Post.

School board debates food services deficit

The food service of the Trinidad School District #1 lost some serious money in the past year. Speaking at a Tuesday school board meeting, Jack Bay, the district’s chief financial officer, said the food service had lost $168,000 from the beginning of the school year until the of May 2011.

That comes as no surprise as budget projections called for a deficit in the food service of $177,000 by the end of June, Bay said. The district is facing fines of $214,000 from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to keep proper track of the eligibility of students getting free meals. Bay said he strongly recommended paying the fine, but said he had recently asked CDE officials to remit some or all of the fines. Read more in the Trinidad Times.

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