March 2013


School Wellness Policy Summit - Save the Date!

Shores Resort in Chamberlain, SD. The summit is designed to assist school districts in updating their school wellness policy and to provide tools for effective implementation.

School districts are required to have a model wellness policy as outlined in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFK Act). The HHFK Act strengthens existing requirements for wellness policies. The new requirements are to be implemented by the 2013-14 school year and will be assessed as part of the administrative review for the National School Lunch Program.

Meals and mileage will be reimbursed for a team of up to 3 people from each district. One of the team members must be an administrator or a school board member. More information, including how to register, will be posted on the Team Nutrition website by April 5. Or you may contact Mary Kirk, Team Nutrition Coordinator, at 605-773-4718 or

The School Wellness Policy summit is sponsored by Team Nutrition, in the South Dakota Department of Education and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

School Height and Weight Data Collection

In an effort to address the obesity epidemic in SD, the Department of Health (DOH) along with the Department of Education have partnered with schools to collect current height and weight data on school age children. Data for the 2012-13 school year will be accepted at any time during the school year but must be submitted no later than June 15, 2013, for inclusion in the analysis.

Student’s height and weight can be entered on the Infinite Campus system. Easy to follow instructions for using Infinite Campus can be found at: This web site also has resources to assist with data collection, instructions for taking accurate measurements, and information for maintaining confidentiality.

If you do not have access to this data collection system, please contact your Infinite Campus administrator or principal to receive permission to enter data and extract reports. If that is not possible or your school does not use Infinite Campus for other school records, submit the height and weight data in an Excel spreadsheet following the instructions on the web site listed above, or in a Word file if other options do not work. When submitting Height and Weight data via Infinite Campus, schools also need to prepare an extract and send that file to Carrie Cushing via email as an html or csv file to .

A New Partnership to Move More at School

Let's Move! Active Schools, a new initiative by First Lady Michelle Obama, recently announced a new partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Let's Move! Active Schools organizations, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, and Nike, have united around one vision to create an America in which physical activity is held as a core value.

The two key objectives are:
• Create early positive experiences for kids in sport and physical activity.
• Integrate physical activity into everyday life.

Click here to join Let’s Move! Active Schools and get the tools and support you need to increase physical activity for your students.

State Plan for Physical Activity and Nutrition Summary

The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) released an executive summary of recent efforts conducted to increase healthy eating and physical activity. Go to the Healthy SD website to learn more.

The State Plan for Physical Activity and Nutrition was created in 2006 and updated in 2010. The plan details ways to reduce overweight and obesity and the subsequent risk for chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes. It is available at 2010 Plan.


Funding Opportunity for Presidential Youth Fitness Program

An inaugural funding opportunity to support participation in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program is now available. Applications will be accepted online from April 1 through April 30, 2013.

This funding opportunity supports participation in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program for the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 school years by providing eligible schools with 100% of the elements that make up the three core pillars of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program for Year 1 and 50% matching support for Year 2.

For a school of 500 students, the dollar equivalent for funding is $1,402 for Year 1 and $526 for Year 2. Schools that are selected to receive funding will not receive a check to purchase materials or supplies. The core program elements will be sent directly to the school from the supplier.

See if your school meets the eligibility requirements, as well as the terms and conditions. And get your application started today!

Active Schools Acceleration Grants

Active Schools Acceleration Project is awarding grants totaling $1 million to transform 1,000 elementary schools across the nation into active schools.

Get everything your school needs to jump-start one of three award-winning programs: the 100 Mile Club, BOKS, or Just Move. Participating schools receive: $1,000 seed funding, a game plan to follow, and a support network of champions across the country embarking on the same path.

Teachers, parents, coaches and other school wellness champions who want to expand physical activity opportunities in their school are encouraged to apply. Applications accepted through April 22, 2013. For more information, visit

School Grants for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to release its School Grants for Healthy Kids opportunities for the 2013-2014 school year.

Around 400 schools will be awarded funds that will range from $1,000 to $5,000 with significant in-kind contributions from Action for Healthy Kids in the form of people, programs, and school breakfast and physical activity expertise. Action for Healthy Kids will also provide schools with management expertise and support to develop strong alternative and universal breakfast or physical activity programs.

Award amounts will be based on building enrollment, project type, potential impact, and a school's ability to mobilize parents and students around school wellness initiatives.

The school breakfast program creation and/or expansion grant is available to ALL STATES. Click here to learn more.

Fuel Up to Play 60

Up to $4,000 per year is available to any qualifying K-12 school enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. The competitive, nationwide funding program can help your school jump start and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements.

The application deadline is June 4, 2013 (If approved for funding, the money will be distributed after June 30, 2013, and will count toward the school’s funding for the 2013-14 school year.) Your school must be enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 for the 2012-2013 school year to be eligible to apply for Funds. Enroll today.


New South Dakota K-12 Tobacco Prevention Toolkit Rolled Out

School and community representatives attended the 2013 Tobacco Prevention Spring Institute where they received the new South Dakota K-12 Tobacco Prevention Toolkit that was developed to provide K-12 school districts with information about tobacco prevention activities, policies and curriculum.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death, so the need for evidence-based initiatives to prevent young people from using tobacco is imperative. South Dakota Department’s of Education and Health are committed to supporting school districts in adopting a tobacco-free building and grounds policy, utilizing tobacco prevention curriculum and implementing evidence-based tobacco prevention activities. The South Dakota K-12 Tobacco Prevention Toolkit is a concise and helpful resource for addressing these needs.

Download the toolkit at

Facts on American Teen's Sexual and Reproductive Health

This fact sheet published by Guttmacher Institute contains the most recent information on sexual activity, contraceptive use, access to contraceptive services, STIs, pregnancy, childbearing, fatherhood, and abortion in the teen population in the US.

Brain-Based Research Improves Classroom Teaching and Learning

More and more often educators across the country are embracing the use of brain-based research to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Teachers are using research to guide such decisions as allowing students to exercise before tackling complicated work, starting the school day later for older students, and planning their classes based on studies showing that students retain more of what they learn at the beginning and end of class.

Walkable Communities

Walkability is part of a growing movement which emphasizes not only neighborhood walkability but mixed-use developments, smart transp¬ortation and a good quality of life.

All the places in your community that are in easy walking distance from your location (home, school, office or wherever you consider your home base to be) is your walkshed. A walkshed usually extends less than one mile from your home base. A well-stocked walkshed includes a variety of things, from parks and other public spaces to retail stores, restaurants, libraries and other services.

How do you know how good your walkshed is? Aside from giving it a test walk, the walkability of a neighborhood can be rated with a walk score and ranked by a Web site called Walk Score. Enter your address to see how walkable your neighborhood is. A score below 50 shows you as being car dependent.

Click here to read more about the benefits of walkability.

Upcoming Events

LifeSkills Curriculum Training – May 29-30, 2013

LifeSkills Curriculum Training will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on May 29-30, 2013 at Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD.

LifeSkills is a proven, highly effective, substance abuse prevention program. This comprehensive program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to resist social pressures to smoke tobacco, to drink, and to use drugs Additional details are available on the training flyer.

Combating the Childhood Obesity Problem

The United Health Foundation and American School Health Association (ASHA) presents Combating the Childhood Obesity Problem: Applications for Schools and Beyond, a two part webinar series exploring research on youth and adolescent obesity.

A recording of the first webinar, held March 5, 2013, is available on the ASHA website. Part 2 of the webinar series will be held Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT. Click here to register.

This webinar series feature presenters who provide real-world applications for addressing this critical and complex issue. Educators, health providers, coaches, youth workers, and parents alike will benefit from this important discussion.

Every Kid Healthy Week - April 22-26, 2013

Action for Healthy Kids and schools across the country will be recognizing Every Kid Healthy Week and will be working with schools across the country to host School Wellness/Get in the Action events to make sustainable changes that encourage students to eat better and be active every day.

Save the Date! Early Childhood Mental Health Conference

The Early Childhood Mental Health Conference, hosted by South Dakota Voices for Children, will be held July 9-10, 2013 at the Ramkota Hotel in Pierre, SD.

Featured speakers include Dr. Gerard Costa, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair (NJ) State University; Dr. Gerard Jacobs, Disaster Mental Health Institute, University of South Dakota; and Dr. Robert Block, immediate past president, American Academy of Pediatrics.

The cost to attend the conference is $70 (register by May 31, 2013) or $80 after this date. One day registration is $45. Continuing Education Units (CEU) and graduate credit are available.

Check the South Dakota Voices for Children’s website in mid-April for further details and to register. Or call 605-367-9667.

2013 Indian Education Summit

The South Dakota Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 2013 Indian Education Summit. Deadline is May 31, 2013.

Applications are being accepted for the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a non-profit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, is looking for committed, enthusiastic young people to serve as role models in their communities and empower their friends, families, schools and communities to get healthy.

Applicants must be between the ages of 8 and 17 years old by July 2013 and live in the United States. Board members serve as ambassadors for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, share feedback on Alliance programs and activities and lead service-learning programs related to preventing childhood obesity.

Interested youth can visit for more information and sign up for a webinar to learn more about the Youth Advisory Board and hear from board members. The webinar is scheduled for either March 20 or April 2, 2013.

Help Support Smart Snacks in Schools

Parents, students, school staff, community partners and others are invited to comment on USDA's newly proposed rule supporting "Smarter Snacks in Schools.

These new nutrition standards will ensure that schools offer healthier snacks for our children, while limiting less nutritious foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, snack carts, a la carte, and school stores during the school day. Write the USDA by April 9 to show your support for healthier snacks in schools!

Parents and schools can and should work together to make certain children are eating healthfully. Many children consume up to half their daily calories at school, and most are eating a snack. Let’s make sure our children are eating healthy options!

National School Nurse Day – May 8, 2013

It is time to celebrate all school nurses as the voice for children's health, keeping them healthy, in school and ready to learn. Be sure to watch for materials for National School Nurse Day on May 8, 2013.

Success Stories

The Great Debate Over School Lunches

With the addition of debate skills to middle school curriculum at Pierre, SD’s Georgia Morse Middle School’s, 6th grade teacher Hilary Aden-Beeny decided to have her students debate a hot topic- the new USDA school meal nutrition regulations. Aden-Beeny had heard her students talking about them and some had complained. She thought this might be the perfect opportunity for the students to research the facts behind the updated Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act and then form an educated opinion.

Aden-Beeny, who supports her school’s efforts to participate in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, was excited to see what would happen and what kinds of ideas the students would bring forward based on their research. She divided the class into teams that were sent into the school to conduct interviews, polls and to conduct background research online. Groups were assigned the affirmative or negative opinion and built their arguments based on obesity data, research on caloric needs for teenagers and public opinion.

After nearly two weeks of research, it was apparent to Aden-Beeny that the majority of her students agreed with the intent and need for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. However, they still expressed a conflict between their minds and stomachs! Many shared they do want to eat healthy food and they enjoy them, but plain vegetables are still a hard sell. The students observed that there is a great deal of waste because many students do throw away the vegetables. Some suggested that more should be done to incorporate the vegetables into the main entrée rather than serving them raw and with dip.

The majority of students agreed that it is the role of the federal government to set national nutrition guidelines on food served in schools. Some students also made strong arguments for the need for the federal government to offer more help to school districts around making creative and more homemade, healthy school meals. One student acknowledged that “keeping meal planning at the local level is important because kids living in different regions of the United States have different preferences in the foods they eat.”

The students brought up the fact that they do hear kids complaining about still feeling hungry after the meal. Most students acknowledged, however, that if their peers actually ate everything they were given, they would probably not feel hungry. The students agreed that offering healthy snacks for sale to supplement the meal was a win-win for students and the school. One student shared, "Having healthy snack alternatives at lunch is a necessity. No two students are the same, nor are their daily caloric needs, so options need to be available. I do not think that snacks like candy bars and chips should be allowed, but healthy snacks like yogurt and granola bars should be."

Fully aware of a constant need to raise funds for the school, the students were interested in exploring the idea of selling healthy snacks through vending machines or a snack cart. Aden-Beeny encouraged the students to do some more research to figure out how much it would cost to start a healthy vending program and they learned how to read food labels and to find potential products using the Alliance’s Food Calculator and Navigator tools.

By teaching her students how to write an argument to support claims with clear reasons and strong evidence, Aden-Beeny checked the debate unit off of her to-do list while building student support for healthy changes in the school!

For more information about how the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is working with schools, companies, community organizations and families to help kids lead healthier lives, go to To learn more about the Healthy Schools Program opportunity available to a limited number of South Dakota schools, contact Kari Senger, Healthy Schools Program Manager for South Dakota at