Posts Tagged ‘teachers’


Fueling Student Success with Food and Fitness

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Brain breaks for better focus and concentration…

Healthy eating messages sprinkled throughout the school hallways, cafeteria, and classrooms…

Nutrition education woven into PE and core curriculum K-12…

Where is this happening? Check out West Orange, New Jersey school district!

“Teaching our students to maintain a healthy balance with eating and exercise is our top priority. The SPARK program is helping provide the tools and training to achieve this goal”, shared Corinn Giaquinto, Health and Physical Education instructor, Thomas Edison Middle School, West Orange, New Jersey.

Hats off to Thomas A. Edison Middle School and their entire school district in West Orange. The district has been using SPARK in their physical education department for some time and recently received a grant from Mountainside Health Foundation to fuel student success by adding nutrition education.

Vickie L. James, Registered Dietitian and Director of Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC), the exclusive nutrition education partner for SPARK, was the trainer for the West Orange training, the first ever SPARK and HKC nutrition education training.

“From classroom to PE to wellness council members K-12, the representation and enthusiasm shown at the workshop tells me the commitment this district has to student wellbeing. They truly understand the strategy of using good nutrition and physical activity to create a culture of health in the schools that can do nothing short of fueling student success. This was the first of many great moments down the road for West Orange Schools.”

If your school district is ready to accelerate student achievement by combining physical activity and nutrition education, contact SPARK today. Full day SPARK/HKC nutrition education trainings as well as a new nutrition curriculum in three grade ranges, K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 all are available through SPARK.  Healthy Kids Challenge trainings are tailored to meet school needs for successful implementation of realistic wellness policies, school improvement plans, and TEAM Nutrition guidelines. And SPARK/HKC help you achieve the required criteria for the HealthierUS School Challenge program.

The HKC curriculum, Balance My Day, was developed to align with all HECAT (Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool) standards for nutrition education. This is a new requirement for PEP grant awardees and you won’t find many nutrition education programs that address it.

Stay tuned for exciting happenings and updates from West Orange schools! SPARK and HKC wish them well in their commitment to student health!

Now Hear This!

Monday, September 28th, 2009

How’s your voice? No, I’m not suggesting you practice singing in the shower and try out for American Idol, I’m talking about the health of your speaking voice.

For many of us, our voice is our livelihood. To be effective teachers, we must speak often and for long periods of time each day. If you’re a Physical Education teacher, it’s easy to get into the habit of speaking loudly, or even shouting to be heard. Of course, this is a no-no on more than one level..

Too many of our colleagues suffer from vocal nodules – or worse – and the cumulative effect over time can be really impactful.

A recent article in USA Today, listed these preventative suggestions:

• Sip lots of water – but avoid alcohol and caffeine
• If you smoke – quit. And avoid second-hand smoke
• Humidify your home
• Use a microphone when possible
• Speak softly, but don’t whisper
• Take frequent speaking breaks
• Consider voice training
• Avoid singing or speaking when your voice is strained

Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, Chair of Otolaryngnology at Long Island College Hospital says,
“Few teachers with hoarseness ever see a doctor or speech therapist, and many could benefit.”

He goes on to state that anyone with persistent hoarseness should find out what’s causing it.

Friends and colleagues, many of you are “vocal athletes.” I hope you’ll take good care of your voice so you have a long career in teaching, or on stage with Ryan Seacrest if that’s your true goal!

Anyone have a related story to tell? We’d love to hear your thoughts – just “speak up” by typing, not shouting and straining your voice…

-Paul Rosengard