Learn Healthy


The evidence is undeniable. Healthy kids get better grades in school.  This survey showed that students who are inactive, watch more TV, drink more soda, or have unhealthy eating habits are more likely to get Cs,Ds, and Fs.   All of our schools want to provide a healthy environment.  Lynchburg City Schools webpage has individual links to each school.  Resources here include:

1. Playworks & Recess

2. Wellness Policy

3. School Lunch

4. School Gardens

playworks31. PLAYWORKS & RECESS

Lynchburg City Schools needed help with recess; too many kids were sitting or bored. Enter Playworks, a national non-profit working to transform recess for more than 16 years.  In the 2011-112 school year, Playworks had full time coaches in 360 schools in 22 cities.  In 2012, Lynchburg joined the gang!

1.Recess has a positive impact on achievement and learning
2.Recess benefits child development in important, non-academic ways.
3. Despite its links to achievement, many schools cut recess to meet testing requirements
4.Despite the connection between recess and good student behavior, schools continue to take recess away as a punishment for bad behavior.
5.Recess is the time of day when schools face the biggest behavior management challenges.

Playworks recess coaches cultivate an inclusive environment that encourages all children to participate regardless of athletic ability, weight, or disability.  Coaches participate in recess every day by leading play activities that foster physical, social, and emotional development of the children.  As a result, Playworks schools have less bullying and exclusionary behavior, transitions from recess are easier, better behavior and attention in class, and safer more inclusive play.

playworks2In the fall of 2012, Playworks came to Lynchburg to offer professional training for adults who work with youth on our playgrounds.  After one session with the principals to ensure top-down support,  from the very top,  “Recess Implementation Training” was completed for Teacher Assistants representing all 11 elementary schools.  Post-training, implementation was evaluated.  Staff who participated were extremely excited with the training they received.  The number of referrals for behavior issues during recess saw a dramatic drop immediately upon implementation of the program.  —Students went home excited about – and talking to their parents regarding – the new games they were learning on the playground.  —The number of students participating in group play and being physically active during recess increased.  After the success of the original training sessions,  an additional session was completed for “Rainy Day Recess/Youth Leadership Training.” Don’t forget that each school has access to the Playworks manual. Get inspired and get your students to learn healthy!

2. Wellness Policy

academic Lynchburg City Schools have always been progressive when it comes to their Wellness Policy.  Long before other schools, we banned soda vending machines from elementary schools.  We have increased daily activity time and recommended the integration of activity and consistent messaging into the classroom.  We now see schools across the nation following our lead.  Our recently updated wellness policy is here.

One key item is that snacks brought in to school must meet nutrition standards. This means foods offered should have <10g of saturated fat, < or + 640g of sodium, and zero grams of trans fat.  The goal calories for a meal are 550-650 calories for grades K-5/ 600-700 calories for grades 6-8/ 750-850 calories for grades 9-12, so no one snack item (candy, cupcakes, or ice cream) should exceed this number.

Here is the accessory booklet to the Lynchburg Wellness Policy with creative ideas to help schools follow the wellness policy.

3. School Lunch

In 2012, for the first time in 15 years, standards for school lunches were updated to offer healthier meals to children nationwide. In January 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed the new meal requirements, which affect more than 32 million kids who participate in school meal programs. This integral piece of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign, was signed into law by President Obama.

The 2012 standards include:

• Increased offerings of fruits and vegetables every day from 1/2 – 3/4 cup to 3/4 -1 cup of vegetables plus 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit per day. Weekly vegetable requirements include a variety such as dark leafy greens as well as beans and peas.

• Increased servings of whole grain to at least one-half of each grain serving offered and by July 2014, all grains must be whole grains.

• Offering proper portion sizes and caloric intake based on age.

• Offering Fat free milk (unflavored/flavored) or 1% (unflavored)

• Reducing saturated and trans fats and sodium.

These changes were slated to phase in over two years to give schools adequate time to implement the new standards.



One way to improve our children’s health in school will be to have gardens in schools. This website has suggestions how.vegbasket

This site discusses how to use your school garden to host a fundraiser!



This PDF from the CDC gives a structured outline for how to make a difference in our schools.

January 19th was Healthy Youth Day. Check out this video to see how much kids enjoy being active and eating healthy foods!


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