by Rochelle Davis, HSC President and CEO
At its heart, Healthy Schools Campaign is about the ideal that all children should be able to grow up to live healthy lives, strengthened by lessons they’ve learned and experiences they’ve had in safe, healthy school environments. We have approached this work by focusing on good food, clean air, school nursing and opportunities for children to run and play during their school day. These issues are among many that shape children’s wellness in school and beyond.
It is from this place that I am moved to take a moment to extend my deepest sympathy to those affected by the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook school. It is hard for us to be silent at such a sorrowful moment for our nation, and not to join the nation in expressing sorrow and grief at this unspeakable loss. Our deepest sympathy goes to the families, students and school staff at Sandy Hook school.
Millions of voices across the nation are now speaking up to simply ask why and how such a tragedy could occur. Our nation is engaged in a dialogue about the complex issues involved in ensuring that our children are safe at school, in the park, and throughout their neighborhoods.
At such a moment, I am moved to look to the heart of the work Healthy Schools Campaign does and reflect on the efforts of so many others to create safe spaces and care for children’s well-being. This work is vital, from on-the-ground work supporting teachers, parents and school nurses, to national advocacy on behalf of policy that supports safe and healthy environments with adequate access to mental health services at schools and throughout our society.
In the months ahead, we will continue to join many others in looking deeply at these issues and doing all that we can do, large and small, nationally and in our own schools, to ensure that all children are able to grow up and live healthy lives.