Healthy kids are better prepared to learn. Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual celebration of school health and wellness achievements. The week is dedicated to highlighting the efforts schools make to improve the health and wellness of their student populations and to focus on the important link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning. Every Kid Healthy Week is observed from April 26-30 this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the link between student health and academic success. The CDC stresses the “critical role [of schools] in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors,” based on research data that shows that “school health programs reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors among youth and have a positive effect on academic performance.” Addressing this is important for providing students with strategies for a healthy start and lasting healthy living into their adult years. Celebrating Every Kid Healthy Week is a nationally observed time to address the health and wellness of students across the US.
The national nonprofit Action for Healthy Kids schedules activities and events for the week every year. The organization’s mission is to “help create healthier schools by bringing all the members of a school community together and equipping them with the tools and resources they need to make change happen.” They make efforts to accomplish this mission by encouraging healthy habits among students every day of Every Kid Healthy Week, and all year round. The calendar published by Action for Healthy Kids shows a theme for each day of the week, including Mindful Monday to focus on social-emotional health and wellbeing, Tasty Tuesday to engage in learning about good nutrition, Wellness Wednesday to practice self-care strategies, Thoughtful Thursday to concentrate on healthy relationships, and Fitness Friday to emphasize physical activity.
There are countless ways to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week. Schools and local community organizations can present different activities and events that highlight health and wellness. Activities might include anything from journaling and yoga breaks in the school day to planting/harvesting a school or community garden, to learning about hygiene including personal cleanliness and sleep needs, to practicing strategies for clear communication, to spending time exercising. It is easy to take action during the week, and hopefully carry the healthy activities into the future to create an enduring healthy lifestyle and increase student success.
Healthy habits are key not only to have a lower risk of illness and disease, but also to improve mental and emotional health. Good health allows students to focus more and learn with greater success. Every Kid Healthy Week is a step towards modeling and reinforcing healthy habits that will benefit students and their families.
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