The Rockland County Department of Health and the East Ramapo Central School District were awarded the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Grant. The goal of the five year grant is to establish school policies, practices, and environments that increase opportunities for physical activity and promote healthy nutrition for all students grades K – 12.
The school district will work closely with the Rockland County Department of Health to implement the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) grant that will include assessment, development, implementation and evaluation of physical activity and nutrition policies, procedures or environmental supports for all students. This is the first year of a 5-year grant to increase access to physical activity and healthy nutrition in the East Ramapo Central School District and catchment area. The district has designated a Project Liaison who will work with the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) School Coordinator to ensure completion of deliverables including assessments, development of action plans, evaluation and, ultimately, attainment of grant objectives.
The project will begin with a series of assessments that schools will use to engage their school community, determine what is currently being implemented, and to inform the development and implementation of several components of the project. Each school will form a wellness team to conduct the assessments and develop action plans. The school nutrition environment will be enhanced by eliminating food and beverage marketing that does not align with the Smart Snacks in School guidelines, and by implementing the Smarter Lunchroom program in all schools. Over the 5-year period, the district will develop a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) with the help of a consultant. In this first year, a K-12 Physical Education curriculum or enhancements to the existing curriculum will be identified, materials will be purchased and relevant staff trained. Access to physical activity during the school day will be enhanced in several ways including training teachers to use physical activity in the classroom. In subsequent years, recess, out-of-school programming and engagement of staff and parents will be addressed.
Finally, the district will form and maintain a District Wellness Committee which will revise, adopt and promote an updated Local Wellness Policy that aligns with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act 2010 regulations.