Healthy School Partners

Our local school partners list continues to grow. Check back regularly to see new partnerships and how current partner projects grow and evolve.

 

Lac qui Parle Valley Middle and High School

Located in the countryside between the towns of Madison, Milan, and Appleton, Lac qui Parle  Valley Middle and High School serves students from Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, and  Swift Counties. The school has been  proactive and innovative with improving the health of  students and laying a foundation for  lifelong wellness. The school has a large winter  greenhouse that is run by the YES Team (Youth  Energy Summit). Not only does this project decrease the carbon footprint left by the school, but also increases access to greens for students and staff. The greens are a regular, welcome addition to the school’s salad bar. With the help of SHIP, the school has been able to increase productivity and processing of the greens. The greens are a hit with the students who love the variety of new tastes they get to enjoy.

Additionally, the school has worked with SHIP to develop a sustainable Farm to School Program. SHIP assisted with making it possible for a local producer to provide a regular supply of cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini to the school. Even though the school is located in a high agriculture area, Farm to School is difficult to implement due to lack of interest by producers and difficulty processing the produce. Lac qui Parle Valley has been committed, along with the local producer Liz Olson, to make this Farm to School program work and be sustainable for future school years to come. SHIP continues to work with Lac qui Parle on streamlining processing the produce to also help with sustainability of program and prevent burn out by nutrition service workers.

Lac qui Parle Valley isn't stopping there though. They are fighting childhood obesity from all angles, including Quality Physical Education. The plan is to implement the Presidential FitnessGRAM program into all physical education classes 2nd through 10th grade in the 2015/2016 school year. The new Presidential Youth­ Fitness Program emphasizes health over performance, and it provides options for professional development as well as materials to help physical educators implement the program. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program also provides clear and authoritative information to help parents understand the benefits of regular activity for their children. FitnessGRAM is a voluntary addition to the Fitness Program to promote, track, and educate students about their physical activity. This makes it more than just about doing a chin up and about making progress towards increased physical activity.

Students in language arts classes in the Middle School are all sitting up straighter these days. That's because their teacher saw the benefit of working with SHIP to make an active classroom. All students sit on a stability ball when they go through language arts class. This burns more calories, strengths core muscles, keeps students attentive and alert.

Madison-Marietta-Nassau Elementary (MMN)

Cherry tomatoes! Lots and lots of cherry tomatoes fill the cute bellies of students. Other vegetables are grown as well in the school garden, but it is the tomatoes that are grown the most, because the kids love them. They are fun, sweet, and most importantly highly nutritious. With the help of SHIP, the elementary school staff have been able to create this great opportunity for students to learn about horticulture, but they then get to eat the fruits of their labor in the school cafeteria.

MMN is also a SHIP partner for Safe Routes to School. The safety committee continues to work towards improving the access for students to safely walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus or driving with parents. SHIP has been able to partner with them regarding bike racks, so students have a safe place to leave their bikes every day.

 

Appleton-Milan Elementary (A-M)

Stability balls in classrooms started off as a pilot project with SHIP a few years ago as an active classroom initiative. It has been a homerun. The teacher loves them and the students do as well. SHIP has continued this partnership to expand the stability balls to now another classroom. This is just one more way that the school has made a proactive focus on preventing childhood obesity through daily physical activity.

A-M is also a SHIP partner for Safe Routes to School. The safety committee continues to work towards improving the access for students to safely walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus or driving with parents. SHIP has been able to partner with them regarding bike racks, so students have a safe place to leave their bikes every day.

 

Northside Elementary

Gardens Growing Wild for Our Community is a project, with assistance from SHIP that has been started at Northside Elementary in Benson for a robust school garden idea. Students were able to enjoy the produce they grew from their first harvest last year. The garden will continue to expand with a goal of increasing access to the produce to members of the community. In addition the school is looking to expand the garden for a longer growing season, involve more classrooms, and increase production into cafeteria.

Northside Elementary is also a SHIP partner for Safe Routes to School. The safety committee continues to work towards improving the access for students to safely walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus or driving with parents. SHIP has been able to partner with them regarding bike racks, so students have a safe place to leave their bikes every day.

Steven’s Elementary

Steven’s Elementary, along with the entire Dawson-Boyd School District, has been a strong partner battling childhood obesity for years. They continue this tradition by partnering with SHIP on numerous projects regarding physical activity.

One of those programs brings active classroom exercises using the S.M.A.R.T. curriculum (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training). SHIP partnered with Ortonville School District to bring S.M.A.R.T. training to our local area for schools and childcare centers to attend. S.M.A.R.T. uses the latest brain research to incorporate specific activities, including many that involve moderate physical activity, into targeted educational lessons. The activities are proven to trigger specific spots in the brain to improve retention, engagement, and school readiness. Steven’s was just one of the schools that SHIP partnered with to assist with registration      costs and purchasing of equipment to help implement the program. 

Steven’s Elementary has also been the first school in our area to partner with SHIP to purchase      and implement the Presidential FitnessGRAM program as part of a quality physical education      initiative. The new Presidential Youth­ Fitness Program emphasizes health over performance,        and it provides options for professional  development as well as materials to help physical     educators implement the program. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program also provides clear     and authoritative information to help parents understand the benefits of regular activity for
their children. FitnessGRAM is a voluntary  addition to the Fitness Program to promote,
track, and educate students about their physical activity. This makes it more than just
about doing a chin up and about making progress towards increased physical activity.

Steven’s Elementary is also a SHIP partner for Safe Routes to School. The safety committee  continues to work towards improving the access for students to safely walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus or driving with parents. SHIP has been able to partner with them regarding bike racks, so students have a safe place to leave their bikes every day.

Dawson-Boyd High School

Along with Steven’s Elementary, the high school is also implementing the Presidential FitnessGRAM program. The new Presidential Youth­ Fitness Program emphasizes health over performance, and it provides options for professional development as well as materials to help physical educators implement the program. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program also provides clear and authoritative information to help parents understand the benefits of regular activity for their children. FitnessGRAM is a voluntary addition to the Fitness Program to promote, track, and educate students about their physical activity. This makes it more than just about doing a chin up and about making progress towards increased physical activity.

Montevideo School District

The Montevideo School District provides before and afterschool programming to children from Sanford Education Center, Ramsey Elementary, and Montevideo Middle School. SHIP partnered with this program to make a concerted effort to increase physical activity for the students by developing activities that improve before and afterschool physical activity options. The program has now implemented an indoor tennis program that provides year round vigorous physical activity for the students. Community Education hopes to also make this program available to community groups to get the whole community more engaged in physical activity.

Montevideo High School

Nutrition Services staff and teachers at Montevideo High School recognized that their students weren’t ready to eat breakfast before school. We are talking about teenagers and they probably aren’t truly awake until 10:00 AM anyway! So Montevideo became proactive. They started a Second Chance Breakfast Program. In between classes around 10:00 AM students can purchase healthy breakfast items to keep them energized and their minds sharp until the lunch hour. SHIP is happy to support such a project that thinks outside the box!

In addition to breakfast, the Nutrition Services staff are also making positive changes to the health of school food following the USDA's Smart Snack Standards. SHIP is assisting with the school reaching their goals for nutrition standards by changing the options and the environment to be conducive for students to have healthier A la Carte options throughout the school day.

Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Elementary (CGB)

CGB is another school that knows the importance of bringing physical activity into the classroom using the S.M.A.R.T. curriculum (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training). SHIP partnered with Ortonville School District to bring S.M.A.R.T. training to our local area for schools and childcare centers to attend. S.M.A.R.T. uses the latest brain research to incorporate specific activities, including many that involve moderate physical activity, into targeted educational lessons. The activities are proven to trigger specific spots in the brain to improve retention, engagement, and school readiness. CGB was just one of the schools that SHIP partnered with to assist with registration costs and purchasing of equipment to help implement the program. 

Knoll Elementary

Staff at Knoll Elementary were key to partnership with SHIP to bring the S.M.A.R.T. curriculum (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) to our local area. Their Early Childhood Education Director was committed to sharing this program with the region and worked tirelessly. Teachers and school staff from 3 different States came to attend the training. S.M.A.R.T. uses the latest brain research to incorporate specific activities, including many that involve moderate physical activity, into targeted educational lessons. The activities are proven to trigger specific spots in the brain to improve retention, engagement, and school readiness. Knoll was just one of the schools that SHIP partnered with to assist with registration costs and purchasing of equipment to help implement the program. Knoll has been the local leader in implementing the program into multiple classrooms. The Minnesota Department of Health did a tour of the kids in action doing their S.M.A.R.T. activities at Knoll and were highly impressed.

Clarkfield Area Charter School

This outstanding charter school is another SHIP partner for Safe Routes to School. The safety committee continues to work towards improving the access for students to safely walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus or driving with parents. SHIP has been able to partner with them regarding bike racks, so students have a safe place to leave their bikes every day.

School of St. Peter

Nestled in the close knit town of Canby, the School of St. Peter, connected through the Canby Public School District, provides education to students kindergarten through sixth grade. Countryside SHIP is happy to partner with the school for the start-up of a school garden for the 2015 growing season. With the hope of an abundant harvest, the students will have a wide variety of freshly grown fruits and vegetables to enjoy as it is incorporated into the lunch menu.

Benson Junior/Senior High School

Agriculture classes in high school are a perfect setting for combining education on horticulture while providing the opportunity for students to enjoy freshly grown vegetables and herbs. Benson Junior/Senior High School agrees with this statement and is partnering with SHIP to make it happen. School gardens can be difficult projects because the window when produce is being harvested and when the students are actually in school is extremely short. So the Agriculture Department wants to expand that window by implementing a cold frame project. In agriculture and gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the  ground, used to protect plants from adverse weather, primarily excessive cold or wet. The transparent top admits  sunlight and prevents heat escape via convection that would otherwise occur, particularly at night. Now the  students of Benson will have increased access during the school year to these wonderful healthy options.

Ramsey Elementary

Regular physical activity is proven to help children better focus in class. Teachers at Ramsey Elementary wanted to take it a step further and provide intensive yoga exercises to students to make an active classroom environment. Those teachers are now working towards formal training in kids yoga and then plan to implement a regular yoga program into classroom time for their young students.

Bert Raney Elementary

The Granite Falls elementary school completed a comprehensive plan for Safe Routes to School. Their plan included identifying the need to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists that were traveling through the car drop-off and pick-up zone. Walking and biking to school provides regular physical activity for children on a daily basis, so it is important to make sure the environment is as safe as possible so students and their parents feel comfortable with these activities. SHIP is partnering with the school to make this happen through more visible signage and cross walk paint for this heavy traffic area.  

If you are interested in partnering with us to make your school healthier, we would love to hear from you. Contact Countryside SHIP.

 

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