Take Action

As a teacher or teacher association, there are many opportunities to improve nutrition, physical education, and physical activity in the classroom, at HBHM_Take_Actionthe school site, and within the district. At this time, theHealthy Bodies, Healthy Minds project is still developing its recommended actions. However, there are many teachers, schools, and districts throughout California that have been taking innovative approaches to these issues.

Please learn more about these projects through our case studies.

Case Studies
One way to learn more about how you can take action in your own school or district is to learn from the examples of other individuals and organizations. Please check out the innovative actions of the CTA members listed below.HBHM_Case_Studies
Share a Success Story
If you or someone you know would like to send us information about an innovate project that addresses physical activity, physical education, and/or nutrition in an innovative way, please contact us.
Skateboarding Their Way to Health
At Fillmore Middle School in the Central Valley, physical education teacher Dave MacDonald has engaged his students in PE by incorporating skateboarding into the curriculum. Through a one-time state grant, he has able to purchase skateboards, helmets, knee and elbow pads, and ramps for his students. This program was featured in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator. You can read the article, “Skateboarding in Gym Class” by clicking here. For more information on how you can have a skateboarding program at your school, visit the website of the Colorado based organization Skate Pass, which has developed the skateboarding physical education curriculum at http://www.skatepass.com.
Technology for Better Fitness
Physical education teachers at Woodside High have embraced technology and incorporated it into their PE programs, rather than branding technology the enemy of physical fitness. The physical education department raised around $20,000 to purchase state of the art equipment, which includes stationary bikes that have video game components and a climbing wall that is on a rotating rock-climbing machine. Not only is this a great program for typical students, but also for the students in adaptive PE. Furthermore, teachers are given an opportunity to use the equipment at specified teacher-only times. For more information on what students at Woodside High School are doing and how the Sequoia District Teacher Association created the program, please read the article,“’Exergaming’ Excites Students in Woodside,” in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator.
Teachers Role Model Healthy Living
The Riverside City Teachers Association in Southern California initiated the Million Step Challenge, a project that encourages teachers HBHM_Case_Studies_Healthy_Behaviorto take an average of 10,000 steps per day on most days. This project was started by teacher Joanne Howard when she saw her fitness level deteriorating only after she became a teacher. This project garnered the support of not only teachers, but the school board, administrators, and classified staff.

To learn more about the project, you can read, “Don’t Neglect Your Health While Caring for Others” in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator or visit the Riverside City Teachers Association website.
Just Try This
Children are often notoriously picky eaters and rarely try anything new, but Ventura Unified School District is conquering this problem with their new Healthy School Project and Harvest of the Month program. As part of the Healthy School Project, members of the Ventura Classified Employees Association visit schools in the district to educate students about the importance of healthy eating, salad bars have been incorporated into the school cafeterias, and many schools have a school garden. Harvest of the Month highlights a particular in season fruit or vegetable, such as persimmons, which is served at the salad bar and students are encouraged to at least try this new food item. Students who try the new food receive a sticker that states, “I Tried It.” Soon students are trying more and more foods they have never eaten before.
Read more about these projects in “Nutrition Educators Encourage Healthy Meals” in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator.
Coconut Bowling Anyone?
Since 2003, New Haven Unified School District has had a group of volunteer teachers who work on improving the nutrition education and provisions in their schools. This group, appropriately titled HEART (Health Education and Resource Team), has helped raise money to purchase pedometers for students and has developed guidelines for healthy fundraisers. Additionally, they have started the Nutrition Olympics, which promotes physical activity and an appreciation of healthy foods. Olympic activities include Coconut Bowling, the Carrot Hop, and a 5-A-Day Prize Wheel.
You can read more about this initiative in “Nutrition Educators Encourage Healthy Meals” in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator. You can also visit the New Haven Unified School District’s website to view HEART resources.
Teachers Lose It
Studies show that students are healthier when they have teachers who are healthy role models. Teachers at Hill Middle School in Long Beach started their own version of the television show, Biggest Loser, but rather than based on elimination, their version is based on support and camaraderie. These teachers are on the third round of the competition and over the course of the competitions, some teachers have lost 22 pounds, 16 pounds, 10 pounds; learning to eat and live healthier.
Read more about this project in “The Biggest Losers” in the February 2009 edition of The California Educator.
A Health Revolution
Peter Pham, fourth and fifth grade teacher at K.R. Smith Elementary School in San Jose, led his students in a project to improve their health and learn about a healthy lifestyle. Their project was initially inspired by the fit for learning program, which provides teachers with a binder of nutrition and physical activity and education curriculum and activities. Mr. Pham incorporated fitness into their curriculum including a Walk across America project.
For more information on Mr. Pham’s class, watch the short video produced by his class. To learn more about the fit for learning program, please visit their website.