by Sarah Hampl, MD FAAP
For the past 2 years, I’ve had the pleasure of being on the advisory board of KS Coordinated School Health (KCSH). KCSH follows the CDC Coordinated School Health model, which emphasizes 8 components of school health, including: Health Education, Physical Education, Health Services, Nutrition Services, Counseling/Psychological/Social Services, Healthy School Environment, Health Promotion for Staff and Family/Community Involvement. KCSH awards grants to school districts to implement one or more of these components. In the 2010-11 school year, 64 grants have been awarded, reaching approximately 124,423 students in 39 counties. KCSH had held regional conferences in Shawnee Mission, Pittsburg, Wichita, Garden City, Hays, and Manhattan. In addition to grantee schools and districts, 41 non-grantee school districts were represented. Topics addressed included development of media relationships for schools, Green Schools and School Gardens, physical activity and academic success and others. An exciting project that KCSH is heading up is called K-FIT. This project, funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, will allow access to Fitnessgram testing by 900 schools in Kansas over the next 3 years. Fitness testing results will be compared to academic measures to look for relationships. The first two K-FIT trainings for school staff have been held and additional sessions are being planned. Other updates include:
- Let’s Move in Kansas Schools – plans are underway for the implementation of a brand new project in Kansas which will train 200 school physical educators to be certified as “Directors of Physical Activity”. It is anticipated that the first trainings for this project will begin in summer, 2011.
- Kansas Action for Healthy Kids event – LIVE with Regis and Kelly is promoting physical activity and good nutrition by following a marathon runner, Dean Karnazes, as he runs from LA to New York. Sponsored by the Action for Healthy Kids, this event will be stopping at Goddard Schools on March 31. Fund raising activities will be coordinated for AHK along with the run. Details will be coming as more is learned about this event. http://www.dadt.com/live/special/runacrossamerica/map/index.html
- Healthier US Schools Challenge – schools are being encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to apply for monetary awards that reflect components for a healthier meal pattern and a specific level of physical activity. http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html
- The “Eat Smart, Play Hard” video series has continued to grow. These educational videos are posted on the KSDE Child Nutrition website and are primarily targeted for a school audience but can also be used by businesses and others. They address topics related to good nutrition, physical activity, meal planning, and energy saving tips among others. http://www.eatsmartplayhard.org/index.html
KCSH Funding is in Jeopardy! Please consider contacting your legislators now!
Suzanne Wikle from Kansas Action for Children provided some comments related to KCSH funding for next year. KCSH was not included in the Governor’s budget for 2011-12. There are currently some discussions underway at the statehouse about KCSH, but final information about funding for next year will not be known until the legislative session has been completed.
If you have any questions about KCSH or would like to become involved, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.