Kingsport City Schools certainly strives to provide a world-class educational experience for all students. But did you know that extensive work also takes place to support an environment that develops good health and wellness throughout the district? Misty Keller, the KCS Coordinator of Coordinated School Health, guides that work with the goal of establishing healthy life habits for students and staff. Research is clear that healthy bodies help maximize academic achievement… It’s a win-win!
But in what ways does KCS support good health? This week, the Saturday Six looks at six programs that encourage healthy lifestyles for students and staff. Want to learn more? Check out this video that highlights the health and wellness initiatives taking place all across KCS!
- Active Classrooms – By utilizing the concept of active classrooms, teachers across KCS are putting into practice the research showing that active students are able to focus and achieve at high levels. In select classrooms, children have the opportunity to use special equipment that allows them to pedal, glide, balance, and move while doing their academic work. While on the surface this may seem like a distraction, the opposite is actually true! The stimulation energizes the students and primes them for increased focus and learning.
- Telemedicine – In today’s world, having the opportunity to visit a physician during the school day can be a difficult task. However, the KCS telemedicine program uses technology to help provide convenient access to medical care. Using the internet and specialized instruments in school clinics, students can be remotely examined by qualified medical personnel that are physically in another location. It is an innovative option for parents that wish to ensure that their children have convenient access to cutting-edge healthcare.
- Water Bottle Refill Stations – Thanks to the support of the KCS Coordinated School Health program and also through water bottles provided to each KCS student by Healthy Kingsport, KCS schools now have unique water bottle refill stations to establish healthy drinking habits. These stations provide a quick refill of cold water, providing a convenient alternative to sugary drinks. Electronic counters on each station show that since being installed, these stations have provided tens-of-thousands of bottles to KCS students, staff, and visitors!
- Healthy Lunch Options – The KCS School Nutrition Services department works daily to provide nutritious, tasty food to thousands of students and staff. In addition to the typical school lunches, a trip to a KCS cafeteria will reveal a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, and other nutritious meal options. It is not unusual to see both students and staff lined up at a KCS salad bar at lunch time, making healthy choices about how to fuel their bodies!
- Go Noodle – What happens when technology meets physical fitness? Go Noodle! The online video library utilized in classrooms all across KCS provides a wide-reaching resource to get kids up and moving. Whether on a short movement interlude during the academic day or on days when the weather won’t allow students to go outside, Go Noodle leads children in physical activities that are fun and highly engaging.
- In addition, there are a wide variety of activities and opportunities to get up and moving throughout the school day. Before school running and walking clubs like the Morning Mile encourage students in many schools to start their day with physical activity. Grants and resources from organizations like Project Fit America have provided highly engaging active playground equipment. And intramural programs across the district give students an opportunity to participate in a variety of different sports and activities.
The opportunities to develop a healthy, active learning community are always evolving. In fact, the combination of activity, creativity, and physical play have all come together at Jackson Elementary using a new resource, Imagination Playground. This innovative program allows students to use materials to design and utilize their own play spaces. It’s just one more way that KCS is always looking to support and develop healthy life habits!