Welcome to 2011! Need some resolutions to start the year off right? We've got some suggestions for ways to make your year greener, healthier and better than ever.
1) Help your school go green. Check out our Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools for simple steps to implement a green cleaning program in schools. Green cleaning supports a healthy school environment with good indoor air quality and less exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that can lead to health problems for children and adults.
2) Learn about lunch. For many children, school provides the most substantial meals of the day. But there is much we can do to make sure school food gives kids the healthy fuel they need to learn. Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act just before the close of 2010, bringing important policy changes to school food. 2011 is a great time to learn more about ways that lunch can look different. You can follow along as students create their own version of a healthy, delicious lunch through Cooking up Change. Or check out the documentary Lunch Line -- maybe even organize a screening in your community. How about starting a healthy cooking club to share great lunch recipes amongst parents?
3) Thank the people who make schools healthier places! Across the country, schools are full of people making change for health and wellness: creative and hard-working teachers, food service professionals, school nurses, facility staff and many others! Take a moment to recognize those who are making a difference -- the school nurses who advocate for health-promoting policies, custodians who keep the school air healthy with green cleaning, food service professionals who encourage kids to try more veggies. Say thanks to the recess monitors who keep our playgrounds safe and the principals who support wellness teams of parents and teachers.
4) Support school building improvement. America's schools are often in need of repairs, and many schools have deferred maintenance as they lack funding for facilities. But students can't learn as well in environments that need basic repairs and upgrades. Check out photographs submitted for Through Your Lens, a contest that encourages students to document their school buildings. Then be sure to submit your own photos when the 2011 contest opens on Feb. 1.
5) Stay in touch. Follow HSC on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our newsletter. Stay connected as part of a community that believes health and wellness are crucial components of a high-quality education.
What are your resolutions for a green, healthy 2011?