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Spotlight - January 2013

posted Jan 7, 2013, 12:22 PM by Susan Conley   [ updated Jan 7, 2013, 12:23 PM ]


NYMS students stay active playing outside!

Health and Wellness

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and exercise and healthy eating are often on the list.  The teachers and administrators at North Yarmouth Memorial School prioritized wellness for the 2012-2013 school year and are taking many steps to encourage physical activity, healthful eating and limited screen time.  The engagement of the students demonstrate the school’s wellness goals are being met!

In November, 2012, NYMS’s Wellness Committee introduced the 5-2-1-0 Challenge to encourage healthier eating habits and increased activity.  School nurse Libby Gordon and 5th grade teacher Colleen Staszko visited each classroom to explain the program to students. The goal was for kids to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, spend 2 hours or less in front of a screen, spend at least 1 hour in physical activity, and have 0 servings of sugar-sweetened drinks every day.  Students tracked their daily habits, receiving points for following the 5-2-1-0 protocol.  Many students participated making the event a great success!

On Wednesday, November 14th, local dietician Dee Madore presented the Healthy Plate program.  She highlighted the benefits of incorporating healthier fruits and vegetables of every variety into everyone’s diet.  Following the presentation, students were dismissed to their classrooms, where parents and PTO members distributed healthy snacks of yogurt and hummus dips with carrot sticks and fruit kabobs to encourage students to try some new and nutritious foods!

Thanks to a grant from Foundation 51, Guiding Stars® Expert Chef Erin Dow will be spending time with each of MSAD #51’s kitchen staffs this winter, assisting with procuring foods, planning menus and preparing meals.  Chef Dow will demonstrate how to create appealing meals with high nutritional value within the financial and regulatory constraints of a self-sustaining school meal program.  The visits will be coordinated with existing curricular activities and events at each of our schools, to engage as many teachers and students as possible.

Finally, it’s not only the students who are encouraged to live more healthfully.  The staff at NYMS is in the second year of the “Try for 20” program.  Any staff member who wants to participate takes a monthly calendar and 20 stickers.  For each day he or she exercises for at least 30 minutes, or walks over 10,000 paces as measured on a pedometer, a sticker is placed on the calendar.  Staff members are modeling the same healthy living habits we’re encouraging in our students!

Whatever your New Year brings, may you enjoy health and happiness. We know at MSAD #51, we are off to a great start!