Greetings students, my name is Eve Kutchman and I am a health educator from Children's Hospital Colorado. I'm here to talk with you about what communities can do to support creating healthy environments in schools. First, let's define what we mean by community. In this context, we are talking about individuals, groups, businesses and institutions that surround and serve a school. All of these people, groups, and organizations are invested in schools being successful, because if the school succeeds, the community does well. You may be thinking, now wait, that's a lot of people and places to reach, and you're right. But in this video, we will talk about some simple steps you can take to get your community involved in school health. Let's approach this from a visual perspective to take a quick overview. I present to you the WSCC model. WSCC stands for whole school, whole community, whole child. This model was developed by school professionals and is a tool that many educators use to organized the complexities of school health. It's important to note that the child is at the center of the model. And that all of the ten components support the health and well being of the child in the school environment and beyond. As such, the community plays an important role. As we zone in on community involvement, it's important to note that partnership is key to successful community support. Partnership implies that, both sides have shared goals and visions and are willing to work together for the common goal of improving learning and health. These partnerships work best when places are in agreement with the goals of improving learning and health and they are mutually responsible for the outcomes. But again, you might be thinking, this is such an overwhelming body of work, where should I start? Here's a great suggestion. Start with the implementation of your school's local wellness policy. What is a wellness policy? Well it's a written document of official statements that can guide local educational agencies or district efforts to establish a school environment that promotes student health. This includes each student's well-being and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and active living, or HEAL for short. The policy can address what needs to be done, who should do it, and how it can be measured. It serves as an anchor for all of the HEAL efforts in the school and helps outside organizations aligned with the policies. Wellness policies are required by law in the US, and must be developed and implemented by local parents, teachers, administrators, school food service, school boards, and the public. This provides a great opportunity for the community to get involved and be an active part of the team. The diverse perspectives of all the team members create an inclusive and creative environment. It takes some time and planning to create an effective policy. And there are many templates available to serve as a guide and help you get started. Okay, once you have a policy, how do you put it into practice? Enter the wellness team or group of individuals ready to put the policies to work. Wellness teams may work at the district level, school level or both. It's the job of the wellness team to pull the community together and make sure everyone is on the same page and moving towards the goal of improving health. It is also the wellness teams responsibility to drive the work, delegate when necessary, and to make sure all members have an equitable workload. The common theme is to start small and use those small successes as the firm foundation of the work. It takes time, so be patient, but passionate. There are many tool kits out there that can help you with this process. These tool kits can help align and distribute the work needed to implement the policy, without solely relying on teachers to do all the work. If you're like me, and like to know the research behind the efforts, I recommend you check the articles on your reading materials. These were published in the Journal of School Health in 2015. And provide a detailed look, not only at the model, as we talked about in the beginning of this video. But also extensive information on what works and what doesn't when it comes to improving school health. It's important to note, there's a great deal of science behind these steps. Let's recap what we've covered so far. One, it's important to get the community involved. Two, a policy can serve as a roadmap for the work. Three, a wellness team can help pull this all together, and four, there's research that shows this really works. So we are at an important point. What's the point of all of this? The point is a coordinated message with the tools in place that lead to a culture of health. The culture of health refers to the way that everyone involved with the school works together. To share beliefs, values, and assumptions regarding health. Schools that accomplish this set up optimal learning environments. When all the tools and lessons learned and applied at schools are aligned with what is happening, not just in the community, but also at home, it makes it easier for kids to learn, understand, and practice health. I hope this inspires you to help your school make this happen.