Office of School Wellness Programs
April is Substance Abuse Awareness Month
Current research shows that substance abuse prevention starts in early childhood, underscoring how essential it is that schools incorporate age-appropriate alcohol and drug prevention lessons along with other State required health education topics in elementary, middle and high school. Secondary educators can review a 2013 Department of Health summary brief and/or access New York City data on youth and alcohol use from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Parents and caregivers also play a critical role in talking about the dangers of underage drinking with children and how to resist peer pressure; parents can download conversation goals and tips from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA)’s “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign to help them start conversations with children ages 9 to 15.
- Teaching PE in Shared or Non-Traditional Spaces? Sign Up for Free Workshop: Register here for Make it Work: Mastering PE in Creative Spaces on 3/31 in Brooklyn, and learn strategies for providing standards-based, health-related physical education instruction and assessment using ready-to-use activities, including music and dance, regardless of available space.
- In Memoriam: Charles Granby, Beloved Basketball Coach: Chuck Granby, basketball coach and PE teacher for 45 years at Campus Magnet High School (formerly Andrew Jackson High School) in Queens, passed away on March 1. Granby “served as a father figure for hundreds of young men,” wrote the New York Times, and several of his students went on to become NBA players.
- Free Spring Health Education Trainings: Practice the skills-building needed to integrate effective comprehensive health education lessons from recommended curricula into your classroom. Upcoming sessions include Grades 9-12 HealthSmart 101 and 102 on 4/14 and 4/22; Grades K-12 HIV/AIDS 101 on 5/19; Grades K-5 HealthTeacher 101 on 5/24; and Grades 6-8 HealthSmart 101 and 102 on 6/16 and 6/17. See our professional development catalog for complete descriptions and to register.
- LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program: Help your students make connections between literature and contemporary issues by applying for LGBTQ Writers in Schools, a pilot program from Lambda Literary that pairs an LGBTQ author with students to discuss a book assigned by the teacher. Participating teachers receive a welcome webinar, a class set of books and an in-person or Skype visit from the author for up to 40 students. Access details and the application, due 4/1, here.
- Free Webinar on Teaching Happiness in our Classrooms: Teachers and school health staff can register here for the American School Health Association’s webinar on 4/19 and get resources to incorporate positive psychology principles into your classrooms.
- NEWS: For First Time Ever, Free Feminine Care to Arrive in 25 NYC Public Schools (NY Observer, 3/14)
- NEWS: The Sudden Controversy Around the Cost of Tampons (Washington Post, 3/15)
Physical Activity and Fitness
- High School Girls: Get Fit and Earn a College Scholarship This Summer: New York Road Runners’ Run for the Future program is a free, fun way for high school girls to develop running and leadership skills, work on a community service project, and earn a $1,500 scholarship toward college if they complete program requirements. All NYC young women entering their senior year of high school or working toward their New York State High School Equivalency Diploma in 2016-2017 are eligible. See program details and apply here by 4/17.
- School Nutrition Equipment Grants: K-12 schools can apply by 6/30 for grants up to $5,000 from Fuel Up to Play 60 to purchase equipment that makes long-term improvements to school breakfast and lunch programs. View details and application here; for ideas, see “How can our school use the Funds?”
- Win a Kids “State Dinner” at the White House: Budding chefs aged 8 – 12 can enter a recipe in the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for a chance to win a trip to Washington D.C. with a parent or guardian to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House this summer. Recipes must follow the MyPlate nutrition guidelines; deadline is 4/1.
- NEWS: Kids Who Eat Two Breakfasts Are Less Likely to be Overweight Than Those Who Eat None (Washington Post, 3/17)
- Grant and Award Application Reminders: Don’t miss valuable upcoming opportunities to get recognition and funding for your school’s physical activity, nutrition, and wellness programs:
- NYC Excellence in School Wellness Award: Deadline: 4/1. Recognizes grades K-5/6 schools for creating healthier environments for students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- School Grants for Healthy Kids: Deadline: 4/1. Action for Health Kids School Breakfast Grants (up to $5,000) and Game On grants (up to $2,500).
- Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award: Deadline: 4/15. The nation’s top physical education and activity achievement for K-12 schools.
- Support the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day Thunderclap 4/10: Students can use social media to help promote teen HIV prevention on the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health Thunderclap site.
- Free Classroom Pollinator Garden Kits: Teachers with existing or planned school gardens can apply here for a “Classroom Superhero Kit” from NYC Eco-Schools and Seedles to start a wildflower garden while helping students learn about plant life cycles and native habitats. Kits include seeds, soil, and curriculum resources.
- Free Anti-Bullying Workshop: Learn strategies to help identify and prevent bias-based bullying and peer victimization at a free educational program on 5/2 hosted by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Learn more and RSVP here by 4/15; space is limited and RSVP required.
- Earth Day New York: Join thousands of green-minded New Yorkers and world citizens on 4/17 to celebrate the 46th annual Earth Day at locations around the city. Events include free live performances, kids’ activities, interactive displays, and more! Details on the Earth Day Initiative website.
- Free 2016 NYC Bike Maps and Safety Guides from NYC Department of Transportation:Use these colorful, newly revised maps and “Bike Smart” guides to safely explore the city’s 1,000 miles of bike lanes and off-street greenway paths, and for in-class mapping and local geography lessons. To request copies for your classrooms, email email@example.com or call 311. Maps available starting in mid-April.
- NEWS: The Best Way to Fight With a Teenager (NY Times, 3/16)