Center of Disease Control Staff Visit Mitchell and White River Schools

The Department of Education receives funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support Coordinated School Health. Recently, CDC staff traveled to South Dakota to see the school health project in action, meeting with the Mitchell and White River School Districts, two of seven schools participating in the Building Healthy Schools Project.

CDC observed health and physical education classrooms, met with school health council members, and visited with administrative staff and students regarding their progress with addressing school health issues. CDC staff members were impressed by both of the districts success related to school health policy and program implementation. Find more detail about the Mitchell and White River projects and their visits with CDC in the success stories at the end of the newsletter.

For more information about Coordinated School Health and the Building Healthy Schools Project go to www.healthyschools.sd.gov.

Presentation Materials are Available for the School Health Guidelines

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Schools can help students adopt healthy behaviors that are key to preventing obesity by implementing CDC’s new school health guidelines. Presentation materials are available to help you promote and implement healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students. Please share this information with others interested in improving public health practice through evidence-based strategies.

Check Out the 2012 Children in Nature Backpack Grants

Kids who play outside know more about nature, do better in school, have higher self-esteem, and are healthier, physically and mentally. To help increase the amount of time children spend being active outdoors, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the South Dakota Department of Health are teaming up to award Children in Nature backpacks to after-school and out-of-school programs in South Dakota. They're each filled with a variety of items such as bug boxes, fishing poles, outdoor games and more to encourage daily outdoor activity. And it's a grant, which means that they're free! To learn more or to apply online, visit www.gfp.sd.gov. Applications are due Dec. 15, 2011.

Upcoming Events

Mastering the Essentials of Tobacco Control - December 13, 2011

Save the date! A December 13 webinar presented by the South Dakota Tobacco Control Program and the Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium will provide an overview of tobacco control essentials that everyone can apply in their communities. It will run from 3:00-4:30 pm CT/2:00-3:30pm MT. To join the online meeting, go to: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/8001256014/join?id=H8R8G6&role=attend&pw=P%3DKD%5D5j. To join the audio conference: Phone number: 1-(888)-450-5996 Access Code: 937686.

Asthma Webinar for School Nurses -- December 15, 2011

Please join the American School Health Association (ASHA) for "Asthma Control Part 2: Asthma Action Plans for School Nurses," a free webinar, on Thursday, December 15th, 2:30-4:00 PM EST.

This webinar will help school nurses create and evaluate asthma action plans for their students. Stock EpiPens, and standing orders will be discussed, and the webinar will conclude with a Q&A session. Dr. Ben Francisco returns with advice to help schools be Asthma Ready (™). Dr. Cindy Devore, Dr. Lani Wheeler and Sally Schoessler, Director of Nursing Education at National Association of School Nurses will share their experience and expertise.

This webinar follows up on the valuable information presented in ASHA’s May webinar “Asthma Control: Are You Doing YOUR Part? An Update for School Nurses in School-based Asthma Management.” If you did not participate in the May webinar, you are encouraged to view it prior to attending the December webinar. The May webinar is available to download in two parts at: http://www.ashaweb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3423.There is no registration fee. Register now at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/343773902

Spring Tobacco Prevention Institute - March 28-29, 2012

The Spring Tobacco Prevention Institute is offered by the Tobacco Control Program and Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium. The purpose is to provide tobacco prevention training to communities, schools, and leaders. This training will improve collaborative leadership skills and help sustain tobacco prevention efforts.

Sexuality Education Training Initiative

Answer has been helping educators and youth-serving professionals create meaningful classroom experiences about sexuality for more than 25 years through the Sexuality Education Training Initiative. Each year, this program provides more than 2,500 educators and youth-serving professionals with the tools they need to teach comprehensive sexuality education and effectively respond to students' questions. The program includes open-enrollment workshops, in-service trainings, Training Institute in Sexual Health Education, and online professional development. For more information, click here.


Development of Essential Community Facilities Funding

Check out the rural development Community Facilities (CF) Program announcement at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HCF_CF.html

The CF program provides loans and grants to help develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. It offers a unique opportunity for non-profit organizations, public bodies, and tribal organizations to upgrade their community’s child nutrition facilities and purchase equipment that could improve access to healthy, locally, or regionally grown products

Funding Available to Support Abstinence Education

The South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH), Office of Family and Community Health Services is soliciting proposals for the provision of abstinence education. The total amount of the Federal Abstinence Education Grant available for sub-awarding is approximately $100,000. The amount awarded to each program is dependent on the number of sub-awardees. Abstinence Education Project activities must be consistent with the legislative priorities outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which amends section 510 of the Social Security Act.


Use the School Health Index (SHI) to Assess School Health Environment The SHI is a self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It is easy to use and completely confidential.

The SHI has two activities that are to be completed by school teams:

1. Eight self-assessment modules: The self-assessment process involves members of the school community who come together to discuss what the school is already doing to promote good health and to identify strengths and weaknesses. The SHI allows staff to assess the extent to which the school implements the types of policies and practices recommended by CDC in its research-based guidelines for school health and safety policies and programs.

2. Planning for improvement process: After the self-assessment process is completed, staff are asked to identify recommended actions the school can take to improve its performance in areas that received low scores. The SHI then guides them through a simple process for prioritizing the various recommendations.

For more information Contact Kari Senger, Co-Director, Coordinated School Health, kari.senger@state.sd.us.

New CDC Resource: Staff Development Program on Fostering School Connectedness

The Fostering School Connectedness Staff Development Program is designed to

• Introduce teachers and other school staff members to the concept of school connectedness.
• Generate enthusiasm and interest in improving school connectedness.
• Initiate implementation of a school connectedness action plan, using ideas from School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors among Youth.

This guide provides step-by-step procedures, activities, materials, resources, and presentations (with speaker narrative and notes) for implementing two staff development programs – a 45-minute basic overview of school connectedness, or a 2-hour program to develop action plans for improving school connectedness. Read more about CDC’s school connectedness resources and access this staff development guide and related presentations.

Success Stories

White River School Visits with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The White River School District, in partnership with the SD Departments of Health and Education, is implementing a Coordinated School Health grant made available through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through Coordinated School Health, partnerships are developed to improve the health and educational outcomes of youth. These efforts resulted in a recent site visit to the White River school and community from prevention representatives of CDC from Atlanta, Georgia, as well as those from the South Dakota’s Departments of Education and Health.

The group began their tour of the White River school by visiting a high school biology class led by instructor Alice Cameron. The class learned that the visitors from CDC were Health Education Specialists and Public Health Advisors working primarily in the field of prevention regarding abstinence, obesity, diabetes, tobacco, alcohol and heart disease.

Justin Bachelor and Georgianne Larvie, student representatives of the White River School Health Committee, met with the officials and shared their health concerns. District staff then led a tour of the larger White River community, with stops in Horse Creek, Lower and Upper Swift Bear, and various locations through White River.

The day concluded with a roundtable discussion of health concerns by students, teachers, administrators and community. School Health Committee member Shelbi Pool talked about some of the activities her second grade students had been involved in to become and stay active, including walking contests, and participating in the Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Mitchell Receives Visit from CDC

The Mitchell Kernels were visited by the CDC project officers and shared successes and obstacles of implementing the Building Healthy Schools project. Mitchell’s council was initiated 20 years ago and has been self-sustaining. The goal of the Building Healthy Schools Project is to improve student achievement by focusing on healthier students and healthy environments. Mitchell’s health council is extremely active and their work is evident throughout the school. Youth groups are extensively engaged. The PE classes were teaching life-long activities that students were excited about. Worksite wellness is important in Mitchell schools. The community and parents are involved too. The council explores opportunities, policies, professional development and resources in physical education, health education, nutrition, tobacco prevention, HIV awareness, to improve achievement.