September 2012


2011 South Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Data Released

Coordinated School Health in the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health has released the 2011 South Dakota YRBS data. The YRBS monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. The health-risk behaviors include:

• Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
• Sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
• Alcohol and other drug use
• Tobacco use
• Unhealthy dietary behaviors
• Inadequate physical activity

Health Risk Behaviors and Academic Achievement

Data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) show a negative association between health-risk behaviors and academic achievement among high school students. This means that students with higher grades are less likely to engage in health-risk behaviors than their classmates with lower grades, and students who do not engage in health-risk behaviors receive higher grades than their classmates who do engage in health-risk behaviors. Click here for more information

Free Height and Weight Equipment

The South Dakota Departments of Health and Education will partner with schools to collect current height and weight data on school age children. Schools interested in applying for scales and measuring boards to assist with data collection should complete the application and return it to the Department of Health by September 24, 2012.

The school height and weight data collection program has been underway since 1998 as an effort to track childhood obesity in South Dakota. It serves as a basis to develop state and local strategies and is a way for participating schools to quantify the problem of childhood obesity. Participation in the program is voluntary. For more information about height and weight collection go to:

Register for South Dakota Walk-n-Roll to School

South Dakota Walk-n-Roll to School was developed from a program begun by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called Kids Walk-to-School. The idea was to get children to walk/bike to school yearlong.

South Dakota Walk-n-Roll to School focuses not only on kids walking/biking to school, but also kids walking while they are at school. This can take on many different forms, such as walking during recess or before and after the school day.

The enjoyable part of South Dakota Walk-n-Roll to School is that it can take on whatever form you choose that works best for your school or program.

Talking to Teens about Social Media and Sexting

Today’s teens and “tweens” are connected to one another, and to the world, via digital technology more than any previous generation. The American Academy of Pediatrics explains how to talk to children and teens about social media and sexting.


Lowe's: Toolbox for Education

Lowe's Toolbox for Education funds school improvement projects initiated by parents in recognition of the importance of parent involvement in education. The maximum award is $5,000 and both K–12 schools, including charter, parochial, and private, and parent groups associated with a nonprofit K–12 school are eligible. The deadline to apply is October 12, 2012.

Team Nutrition Mini-Grants Available

To download a schedule of the 2013 Team-Nutrition Mini Grants, click here. Schools applying for mini-grants must participate in US Department of Agriculture child nutrition programs such as CACFP, school lunch, after school snack or child and adult food program. Schools must also be signed up for Team Nutrition.

Funding Through Fuel Up To Play 60

an incredible opportunity to receive additional funds through Fuel Up to Play 60 of up to $4,000. These funds can be used to expand existing initiatives in schools, or to roll out a new program. Enroll in Fuel Up to Play 60 to apply.

To learn more about this great opportunity, visit the School Nutrition Foundation blog at

Community/School Tobacco Partnership Grants are Coming Soon

Funding for the second year of the Community/School Tobacco Partnership Grants will be available in early September. The application information will be posted on when it’s available.


Nutrition Education Resources

South Dakota State University Extension provides a variety of nutrition and physical activity resources specific for South Dakota needs. For more information click here

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) unveiled a new toolkit to help prevent suicide. Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools aims at reducing the risk of suicide among high school students by providing school administrators, principals, mental health professionals, health educators, guidance counselors, nurses, student services coordinators, teachers and others guidelines for identifying teenagers at risk and resources for taking appropriate actions to provide help. The toolkit is available at:

Open Wide and Trek Inside Curriculum

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) supports K–2 teachers, dental educators, and public health professionals in their efforts to teach others about the science of oral health through the Open Wide and Trek Inside curriculum.

For more information visit

Upcoming Events

Indian Education Summit - September 23-25, 2012

“Community-Culture-Collaboration” is the theme of this year’s Indian Education Summit to be held September 23-25, 2012 at Cedar Shores in Oacoma/Chamberlain, SD. The 2012 Summit will showcase educational projects, programs and initiatives from pre-school to post-secondary. The focus will be on educational programs that successfully implement concepts that support local history, environment, culture and economy through hands-on, project based, and/or real world experiences while engaging all students by supporting varied learning styles.

Click here for more information go to:

Success Stories

Teens as Teachers

Teens as Teachers is a leadership opportunity designed to prepare older youth to be teachers and mentors to younger youth. This program was implemented in partnership with South Dakota Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) where teen teachers work within their local communities to carry out the 4-H curriculum and the South Dakota Discovery Center’s Harvest of the Month curriculum.

The Teens as Teachers program has been delivered to 65 teens in 11 South Dakota school districts including: Baltic, Belle Fourche, Chamberlain, Clark, Highmore, Newell, Redfield, Sturgis, Wessington Springs, White River and Winner. The teens designed and presented 320 Teens as Teachers lessons which included 55 Harvest of the Month lessons. The teens utilized community resources through the provision of hands-on learning activities with lesson plans that were relevant to the South Dakota Health Education Standards. The teens received guidance from school teachers, FCCLA Advisors, 4-H Youth Program Advisors, and the South Dakota Discovery Center staff.

The teen teachers also wrote newsletters, incorporated community health challenges, submitted a 5 to 10 minute reflection video and completed various evaluations. Upon completion of the program, each teen received a $500 scholarship which will be deposited in an educational account at the South Dakota 4-H Foundation. The scholarship can be used for post-secondary education at a school of the teen's choice. Teens were recognized recently at the State FCCLA Convention in Sioux Falls where Roy Beard, 4-H Foundation representative, talked to the students about the importance of being engaged community members.

Participating partners include: the South Dakota 4-H Foundation, Coordinated School Health in the Departments of Education and Health, South Dakota Discovery Center, South Dakota Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Chapters. Funding for this project was provided by Wal-Mart and Coordinated School Health.

For more information on the Teens as Teachers program model contact Suzy Geppert, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Partnerships Field Specialist at 605-773-8120,

Building Healthy Schools Project

Coordinated School Health in the Departments of Education and Health assists 6 school districts (Chamberlain, Miller, Mitchell, Wolsey-Wessington, White River and Wagner) to develop and enhance a school health council in their district through the Building Healthy Schools Project. The school health council’s primary purpose is to:

• Implement effective programs, policies and practices
• Promote physical activity, nutrition and healthy eating
• Reduce tobacco-use
• Increase awareness of HIV prevention
• Establish and strengthen coordinated school health service

At the Building Healthy Schools training, held June 11-12, 2012 in Pierre these 6 school districts shared program activities and successes from the past year. Some of the highlights are:

• Chamberlain revised their HIV policy. The policy will be presented to the school board for approval. The school health council also promoted and implemented a staff wellness program. • Miller provided first aid classes to all staff. First aid kits were made available on all school buses. The revised tobacco and HIV policies are awaiting approval. A Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group was established.

• Mitchell provided an educational awareness campaign on triggers and management of asthma while promoting a fragrance free environment. Universal precaution kits are being built to reduce the exposure to HIV/AIDS in schools. Staff is in the process of being trained in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

• Wagner revised their tobacco and HIV policies. They also obtained the SPARK Physical Education curriculum materials.

• White River’s school board approved the use of the Michigan Model for Health, a comprehensive and sequential health education curriculum that aims to give school-aged children the knowledge and skills needed to practice and maintain healthy behaviors and lifestyles. They will be implementing the new curriculum this fall to meet the graduation requirement for health education. They also are implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

• Wosley-Wessington hosted a Tell It to Me Straight parent event and a REALITY party.

For more information about any of these activities please contact Coordinated School Health staff at 773-3261.

2012 Community Helping Hands Award

The Community Helping Hands Award, given by the School Administrators of South Dakota, recognizes a school district and their non-school community partner for their outstanding collaboration in implementing a successful program, project or activity. The Miller school district and community member Chris Keeter are the recipients of this year’s award.

For the past two years, Chris Keeter has spearheaded the implementation of the Building Healthy Schools project within the Miller school district. The Building Healthy Schools project is made possible through a grant from Coordinated School Health in the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health.

Chris formed the Miller Area Health Board (MAHB) whose job is to brainstorm and facilitate a variety of activities for the school and community. The goals of the MAHB cover a wide variety of areas to promote the health of students, staff, and community members. It is not limited to physical health as the mental and social aspects of health are also addresses. Some of the activities included a “REALITY” party that allowed parents an inside look at what peer pressures teens face when at a party. A “Tell It To Me Straight” parent event focused on opening lines of communication between parents and their children in order to talk about real life decisions and pressures.

Chris also organized a walking event to encourage groups in the community to make a positive change in their lifestyle and to become healthier.

For more information on the Building Healthy Schools project contact Coordinated School Health staff at 773-3261.