The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017’s pathways include, among others, Pathway F: Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.
In accordance with this pathway, Colchester Middle School will celebrate “Fat Talk Free Week” November 18–22.
Fat Talk Free Week is a five-day activism campaign designed to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the “thin ideal” on women in society with the goals of inspiring change in the way students think and feel about their bodies; educating students about the damaging impact of pursuing the “ideal” body; and promoting a healthy lifestyle and one that urges individuals to live a balanced life in mind, body, and spirit.
A variety of activities scheduled throughout the week are tailored to address body image issues that address young women and young men alike. For more information about Fat Talk Free Week, please contact CMS at (802) 264-5800 or e-mail guidance counselor Kara Pawlusiak at email@example.com.
A great deal of other work is ongoing in acknowledgment of the strategic plan’s wellness pathway. For example, extensive work with CSD’s school health index is well under way, and every school in the district works hard to incorporate health and wellness-related curriculum and activities into its programming.
- Colchester High School and Colchester Police Department are collaborating to offer a three-part series to help support adolescents in our community, a CHS teacher was recently named the Vermont Health Teacher of the Year, and CHS’s research-based partnership, Project Checkpoint—a screening and brief intervention program designed to assist students with substance abuse issues—is attracting attention from surrounding school districts.
- Both Colchester Middle School and Malletts Bay School offer an international running program designed to incorporate age-appropriate discussions about such topics as tobacco and alcohol use, eating disorders, personal and Internet safety, and harassment. The program is designed to encourage positive emotional, social, and physical development, and it also introduces the participants to alternative, fun ways of engaging in physical activity, such as snowshoeing, hiking, and yoga. MBS also participated in a pilot program designed to study the effects of exercise on a variety of areas, including academic performance, concentration, cognitive function, and health measures, has been the recipient of the Fit and Healthy School Wellness Award, participates in walk-to-school events (click here for a fun video!), is piloting a sweets-free celebrations program, and much more.
- Wellness is an integral part of the day at Porters Point School. Along with its extensive student walking program and other such activities as walk-to-school events, the students participate in the Five-a-Day Healthy Snack Month; offer input into meal choices; and enthusiastically participate in the breakfast program, Jump Rope for Heart, and more. PPS has also hosted the Harlem Globetrotter’s CHEER for Character program. Additionally, PPS hosted a grant-funded, collaborative, family-based, multidisciplinary approach to nutrition and wellness aimed at addressing childhood obesity and childhood malnutrition called “In Shape and In Season” that was highly successful.
- Union Memorial School hosts an annual “Chilly Champ Fun Run” for students and families as well as an annual family ice skating event. UMS students helped to break a world record for jumping jacks as part of the 2011 Let’s Jump campaign, and as part of a unique UMS walking challenge program, one student walked more than fifty miles during his three years at the school.
CSD’s faculty and staff also make wellness a priority in their lives; dozens of CSD employees have participated in the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay, and employees regularly participate in other wellness-related activities, as well.
CSD’s wellness initiatives even extend into the greater Colchester community; CSD recently offered a successful, comprehensive wellness fair and community harvest dinner that was free and open to the public. And increasing numbers community members have participated in events like the annual Laker Cross-Country Fun Run, the Making Strides event, and the recent student-organized 5K Fun Run to benefit the Colchester Community Food Shelf.
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