Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, celebrates the 18th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW) the first week in April by focusing on health practices that can create healthier schools environments and that affect student performance.
"Healthy children learn better," said OCHD Manager/Health Officer Kathy Forzley. "Public health and education systems must work together to teach them healthy habits."
Six schools have received grants to implement Smarter Lunchroom Strategies to equip school lunchrooms with proven tools that improve eating behaviors and the health of children. Based on facilitation by OCHD and the Healthy Oakland Partnership (HOP) coalition, Waterford School District has been awarded $4,000 to start implementing Smarter Lunchroom Strategies in four elementary schools. Brandon School District and Pontiac Academy of Excellence were also awarded $1,000 to implement these strategies. HOP will work with most of these schools to assist with the implementing these strategies.
Smarter Lunchroom Movement was started in 2009 with the goal of creating sustainable, research-based lunchrooms that guide students to make smarter, healthier food choices. The Michigan Department of Education will adopt these strategies in 2014 - making Oakland County on the forefront of helping kids make healthier food choices in the lunchroom.
Here are a few other ways to create healthy schools:
- High school and college campuses should be smoke and tobacco free.
- Advocate for students to have daily access to fruits and veggies and limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.
- Speak up about the importance of physical education in school.
- Encourage kids to say no to tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
- Learn more about First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign and how it can promote more physical activity in schools.
- Encourage schools to get involved in the national Healthier US School Challenge which recognizes schools that have created healthier environments by promoting nutrition and physical activity.
- Support the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which provide all children with access to nutritious meals, regardless of their family's income.
For more information on Health Division services or health related resources, find us on Facebook at Public Health Oakland or follow us at twitter.com/publichealthOC. You can also call Nurse on Call at 1-800-888-5533 or visit www.oakgov.com/health.
About National Public Health Week
Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week, communities across the United States have observed National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. Each year, National Public Health Week focuses its effort on a different theme. This year's theme is "Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money." The 2013 theme was developed to highlight the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing health care spending. National Public Health Week runs April 1-7. For more information, visit www.nphw.org.
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.