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This week’s healthy schools highlights

Denver Green School grabs onto gardening

Learn about a 1-acre organic vegetable farm growing at the Denver Green School in this You Tube video. The students and staff are cultivating 70 kinds of veggies and herbs. Produce is used in the school cafeteria and shared with the neighborhood.

“Eat Your Radio” show focuses on healthy schools

Check out this neat student-produced series on efforts to create healthier schools in Boulder, Denver and beyond on Boulder-based KGNU radio.

USDA honors Boulder Valley schools healthy foods

Top Brass from the U.S. Department of Agriculture flew into Colorado this week to honor all the fruits and vegetables and the increase in foods made from scratch in Boulder Valley Schools  breakfast and lunch programs.

Local group wins Food Friends grant

Community Partnership for Child Development announced today that it has received a $42,500 grant from Colorado State University to implement The Food Friends nutrition and physical activity program in its Head Start and Colorado Preschool Program classrooms through the end of the 2011-12 program year.

CPCD is a nonprofit organization that provides free comprehensive early childhood development and family programs for families with children, birth to age 5, who are living in limited income homes, have special needs or experience other adverse circumstances that could challenge their readiness for kindergarten. CPCD currently serves more than 1,900 children each year in El Paso County through Early Head Start, Head Start and the Colorado Preschool Program. For more information, please visit www.cpcdheadstart.org.

The Food Friends is a research-based nutrition and physical activity program for preschoolers, which has two main curriculums: Fun With New Foods and Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves. The CSU-run program is funded through The Colorado Health Foundation and functions to change two behaviors in children: their willingness to try new foods and enhance gross motor skill development. Fun With New Foods is a 12-week program that includes food tastings and nutrition activities twice a week. The 18-week Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves program incorporates movement and physical activities during the movement portion of the day with a focus on locomotor, stability or object manipulation skills. 

CDC: Kids consume too much sugar, mostly from processed foods

 Kids are getting way too much added sugar in their diets, according to a new report from the CDC, and that could raise their risk for obesity and chronic diseases. Check out this CBS News report.

Yoga improves mental, social, physical health for Boulder teens

Before a test, Rachel Klein doesn’t cram or stress out.

She bends at the waist, lets her head drop toward the ground and feels the blood flow to her brain. She breathes.

“It gives you a different perspective, and it helps lessen the hyperventilating, which will actually make you more stressed,” says the 16-year-old Boulder High School student.

Rachel loves “inversions” like this — and headstands, which she mastered after 10 weeks of practice in one of the Yoga Pod’s special teen workshops. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Preschools launch program to fight obesity

Two preschools in the South Bay have launched a nutrition program aimed at improving children’s eating habits and reducing childhood obesity.

More than 200 children ages 3 to 5 will participate in the classes, which use music, stories and crafts to teach about healthy eating. Parents will also receive monthly newsletters with recipes and tips. Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Increase of childhood obesity slowing in Calif., study suggests

Between 2003 and 2008, California students were still gradually growing more obese, but the rate of increase had slowed from years prior, according to a new study based out of the University of California, Davis.

The study, published in the February issue of the American Heart Journal, examines state fitness-test results of 6.3 million students in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades. Read more in EdWeek.

Poudre schools consider student health, wellness policy

The Poudre School District Board of Education will consider a key policy that would direct the school district to “support the integration of comprehensive health and wellness in student learning.”

The purpose of this fifth pillar of the District Ends policy, from my perspective as an individual board member, is to support a positive learning environment for academic growth, reduce behavioral interventions and promote lifelong healthful habits. Read more in the Coloradoan.


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.