What Do Successful Schools Look Like?

As a parent, I have a good idea of how my child’s school is working for her. I talk to her and her friends about what is going on there. I see the work that she is doing. I communicate with her teachers and other school staff.

But while I know that my daughter is at a school that’s good for her, it’s harder to figure out whether it’s a successful school overall. Is her school helping each of its students reach their fullest potential? What does such a school look like?

The Learning First Alliance, which includes organizations like National PTA and whose members collectively represent more than 10 million educators, parents and local policymakers, have pulled together to research and answer that question.

The result of that effort is “The Elements of Success: 10 Million Speak on Schools That Work,” an anthology that identifies six elements that are common to all successful schools. It also makes clear that there is no one model for a successful school—in each success story, educators, parents and local communities have developed programs specific to their goals and challenges, within their communities’ setting.

While all successful schools share the six elements, how they are implemented and integrated depends greatly on context. The elements are:

  • Focus on the Total Child: Successful schools support all students’ needs—inside and outside the classroom—to help them become effective, empowered learners. They design and carry out programs that offer all students a rich educational experience, supporting their academic and social/emotional learning and physical development.
  • Commitment to Equity and Access: Successful schools ensure all students have access to high-quality services and support systems, enabling them to set and reach high goals for learning. In them, equity does not mean equality; they recognize some students need additional resources to have the same opportunity for success as others. They also recognize diversity is a strength.
  • Family and Community Engagement: Successful schools effectively engage families and communities in support of students. In doing so, they identify barriers to such engagement and work to overcome them.
  • Distributed Leadership: Successful schools define leadership broadly. Leadership is distributed among principals, teachers, parents, community members and others in the building, and decision-making is a shared endeavor.
  • Strong, Supported Teaching Force and Staff: Successful schools are staffed with educators—including teachers, principals, school counselors, technology specialists and others—who are well-educated, well-prepared and well-supported. These educators meet high standards of practice, and they benefit from continuous learning opportunities.
  • Relationship-Oriented School Climate: Successful schools create a culture of collaboration and shared responsibility among staff and students and with families and communities. These schools are safe, welcoming and respectful to all.

These elements are all widely known. But two things make this collection of research unique. One is consensus. “The Elements of Success: 10 Million Speak on Schools That Work” does not reflect the expertise of one individual or one organization. It reflects the collective wisdom of all the various public-school interest groups—parents, teachers, administrators and more. Together, they agree these are the elements needed for a school to perform at a high level.

The second is the emphasis on interactions. A school with good teachers and poor leadership won’t be successful. Nor will a school with strong leadership and teachers that focuses solely on test scores. The interaction between all six of these elements is critical.

So how can parents and PTAs use this information? One idea is to use this research as a conversation starter. Bring parents, teachers, administrators and others in the school community together to honestly assess where you are in terms of each of these six elements. Identify your strengths and where additional support is needed. Then work together to make sure your school is meeting the needs of every child who attends.

The report and supporting materials are available at LearningFirst.org/ElementsOfSuccess.

Anne O’Brien is Deputy Director at the Learning First Alliance.   

It Takes a Village: Lessons on Developing the Whole Child

I know you’ve got a lot more on your plate than your next work deadline. You have to pick your kids up from swim practice; you are worried about that cough your dad had over the holidays; you are daydreaming about writing that novel. The same is true of your children—they also have more to worry about, and way more to contribute, than taking the next test.

As adults, we are able (most of the time) to strive for balance in our lives. But our children don’t have enough experience to be able to do that yet. In order for them to be successful, we have to be able to show them how to manage the stress that daily life brings.

That’s where social, emotional and academic development comes in. The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development is spending two years talking to parents, teachers and students to explore how schools can develop the whole child. And on a site visit to Tacoma, Wash., last month, commissioners got some powerful answers.

I was there as a parent advisor to the Commission. Here are three strategies we saw in Tacoma that hold exciting potential for communities across the country:

  1. Leverage the Power of the Community

Schools have a pretty single-minded focus: educate our kids. But what leaders in Tacoma realized is that you don’t have to bend other organizations to your priorities in order to build a community effort around supporting students—you just have to let everyone play to their strengths.

Take Tacoma’s Science and Math Institute (SAMI) for example. This high school, set in the middle of Point Defiance Park, uses its working relationship with the city Parks Department to foster experiences that are truly hands on, and sometimes unexpected. My student tour guide at SAMI told me about a calculus test she recently took while seated by the aquarium’s shark tank. She said the dimness and serenity helped her focus. Students manage ongoing research projects, train to be docents at the zoo, and can work on internships that allow them to apply their learning in real-world settings.

  1. Listen to Students and Teachers

We all know teachers wear many hats. That’s why it’s critical to understand that focusing on students’ social, emotional and academic development doesn’t have to be burdensome. In fact, Tacoma teachers say the Whole Child Initiative has made them feel more supported and free to do their jobs. The initiative has slashed tardy arrivals and absences, boosted test scores and reduced discipline referrals across the district. During my visits to Tacoma’s public schools, I witnessed how teachers are valued as front-line experts and are given opportunities for leadership.

Tacoma also actively includes student voices. At each school I visited, it was clear that not only do students feel listened to, they feel empowered: empowered to resolve their own conflicts, to speak with authority and pride about their schools, and be active participants in shaping their schools’ cultures. For example, students at Jason Lee Middle School advise educators on improvements that can be made and are an active part of the rule-making process. The PTA motto of “every child, one voice” was truly on display in Tacoma.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

Each child, classroom, school and district is different. What’s unique about your community? You may not have Point Defiance Park, but what about a creative partnership with that homeless shelter down the road?

Tacoma’s schools are flourishing under the Whole Child Initiative, but to replicate that success will mean stepping outside of our comfort zones of fall festivals and fun runs. It will mean focusing on how we, as parents and community members, can do that extra little bit to establish meaningful relationships with the world outside of the school walls.

Our children are complex. Let’s help make sure their educations develop all their potential.

Van Overton is the executive director of SpreadLoveABQ (an organization committed to developing creative fundraising solutions for child advocacy groups); the co-founder of Duke City Dream Lab (an organization that works to make the arts accessible to all children); a three-year member of the New Mexico PTA Board of Directors; and an active volunteer in Albuquerque schools. Van is a member of the National Commission’s Parent Advisory Panel.

5 Things You Should Know About March 2 Success

(Sponsored Post)

As parents, we make it a priority to ensure our children receive a quality education, post-secondary opportunities and career fulfillment.  But when it comes to taking the SAT, ACT or other standardized tests, we sometimes don’t know how to best help our kids prepare.  This is where March 2 Success comes in—a free online, interactive program created to enhance ACT and SAT as well as student performance.  From high school science, math and verbal skills to college readiness and planning tips, this online resource has the tools and information students need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Here are 5 important facts about March 2 Success

  1. Content is provided by industry leaders in standardized testing and college preparation.

Peterson’s, a leading provider of solutions for the education community for more than 40 years, developed the content for this easy-to-use, self-paced program.  Any student age 13 and older can participate, and there is no obligation.

  1. It’s a user-friendly program designed for convenience.

We know students’ schedules can be chaotic.  From sports and studying to family life, March 2 Success is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so students can log on any time that is convenient for them.

  1. It provides a complete guide to college financing and admissions.

We want to take the guesswork out of the college admission and financing process. March 2 Success includes a special emphasis on scholarships and supplies related web links.

In addition, the program’s Student Planning Guide provides a month-by-month plan of important steps involved in the entire college preparation process from freshman to senior year.

  1. Participants receive tailored lesson plans and study materials to help improve competency in the skills after an assessment.

The curriculum begins with a pre-assessment to determine each student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. This includes standard English, math and science sections.

Every individual is unique, so we focus on the importance of individualized and strategic learning that concentrates on achievable goals.

  1. M2S has a video game to raise SAT/ACT scores called, “Zero Hour Threat.”

Zero Hour Threat, created by i.d.e.a.s. at Disney-MGM, is an interactive action game designed to increase standardized test scores, as well as enhance general mathematics and vocabulary skills while having fun studying and reviewing in a game format.  There are two versions of the game with different scenarios.

In addition to students, March 2 Success is a valuable tool for educators, parents and mentors.  One of the many features offered is the ability to monitor student progress, which is a great way to stay involved.

The U.S. Army is fully committed to strengthening the education resources for our Nation’s youth and this program is the first step.  To learn more about U. S. Army educational programs or March 2 Success, visit http://www.armyedspace.com/ and watch this video.

Jose A. “Tony” Castillo is Education Chief for U. S. Army Recruiting Command.  In his role he oversees several outreach initiatives and promotes Army education resources designed to help young people explore various career paths and succeed in their post-secondary future – as professionals and as citizens.

What do a football coach, astronaut, founder of Walmart and an Army four star general have in common?

(Sponsored Post) They are all graduates from Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Course). Lou Holtz, legendary football coach; Nancy Currie, space shuttle astronaut;  Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and General (Retired) Colin Powell, are just a few of the great men and women that learned and developed their leadership skills from the Army ROTC program. Like many other ROTC graduates, their training gave them the skills to lead, manage, motivate their peers, and most importantly, foster teamwork – all the qualifications of successful leaders.

Army ROTC lays the groundwork for students to excel both personally and professionally by setting goals and guidelines that will take them to the next level of success – far enough to potentially create the fastest space shuttle or maybe the next great marketplace.

So what is Army ROTC?

Since its establishment in 1916, more than half a million men and women became officers through the Army ROTC program. Army ROTC is administered by the United States Army Cadet Command located at Fort Knox, Ky. The ROTC curriculum consists of a series of military science classes and hands-on leadership training experiences that provides students the necessary foundation to serve successfully in positions of responsibility – both in the Army and the civilian workforce. It can also provide benefits including full tuition, book and fees allowance, and a monthly stipend to qualified students. Just last year, the Army awarded approximately $294 million in scholarships to over 14,000 students across the nation – all studying a variety of specialized fields.

Today, with our host programs and partner schools we have Army ROTC at almost 1,000 campus locations across the country, as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico.

In addition to the Army college ROTC program, the Army offers Junior ROTC for high school students which teaches students to become better citizens. Currently, there are more than 320,000 cadets enrolled in over 1,730 JROTC programs at high school campuses in the U.S., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and at selected American high schools overseas.

What’s next?

For many students, Army JROTC and ROTC programs provide the necessary structure to get them on the right path to leadership and life-long success.

As we work to prepare our future leaders to be the next great athlete, first astronaut to step foot on Mars, new innovator in e-commerce, or even a future Army general, we must provide our children and students with all of the resources available to lead them to success.

For more information on the Army ROTC program, visit www.goarmy.com/rotcinfo or text “rotcinfo” to GoArmy (462769).

Maj. Robert D. “Dean” Carter is the lead marketing officer for the United States Army Cadet Command. In his role he is responsible for synchronizing all recruiting, marketing and outreach events for the command designed to increase awareness of leadership training and opportunities provided by Army ROTC that will benefit a potential army officer in a successful army career and beyond to the civilian corporate community.

It’s PTA in Pop Culture Week!

“I just saw PTA referenced in “American Housewife” on ABC!”
“Did you know that movie “Bad Moms” was about the PTA?”
The Simpsons” rerun about the PTA was so funny!”

Does any of this sound familiar? I bet you’ve heard similar coffee-talk at your PTA meetings or while chatting with other parents. PTA pops up in all sorts of places!

A few months ago, National PTA’s Executive Director, Nathan Monell, found a PTA reference in a movie. I mentioned it at a meeting and people quickly began sharing their own “PTA finds.” Before I knew it, I had a monster list of PTA references in movies, music and television shows. And thus, PTA in Pop Culture Week (Dec. 18-Dec. 22) was born.

Before we dive into our favorite clips, let’s be clear—most references are not accurate reflections of the Parent Teacher Association. (Can you tell I’m sugar-coating here.) Most dramatizations of nutty bake sales, controlling moms and iron-fisted PTA councils are purely for entertainment purposes. They’re trying to make us laugh. And sometimes, they might even be taking a tiny dig. In the end, we can take it. We’re thick-skinned here. And the PTA can totally roll with the jokes. We love a good laugh too!

Let’s begin by going back in time to the “Harper Valley PTA.” It’s probably the most notable PTA reference in Pop Culture because not only does it span a few decades but it also spans a few mediums. It first hit the radio airwaves as a song in 1968 by Jeannie C. Riley. This country megahit was re-recorded by artists like Dolly Parton (1969), Billy Ray Cyrus (1996) and Martina McBride (2004). It’s a song about scandal, miniskirts and a really tough PTA!

Not only did it make a good song, it made a good movie. In 1978 Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) starred in the motion picture version of “Harper Valley PTA.” (FYI, if you have 90 minutes, we found the entire movie on YouTube.) And it didn’t end there. The movie was spun off into a TV sitcom in 1981. So who thinks it’s time for a “Harper Valley PTA” reboot in 2018?

Television has definitely embraced PTA throughout the years. There was “Everybody Loves Raymond” in the ‘90s when Debra decided to reveal her updated, edgier style at a PTA meeting. (Forward 1:00 into this clip for the funniest part.) In 1974, Carol Burnett channeled a diva-tempered PTA mom as she battled for a spot in the Annual PTA Show auditions. And then in 1957—before most of us were born—Uncle Bentley juggles a PTA meeting and a date with a Hollywood starlet in a “Bachelor Father.” (Skip to 12:00 to catch the PTA part!) Can you believe that reference is 60 years old?

It’s been a real blast producing PTA in Pop Culture Week. We hope you enjoy all our finds and we encourage you to share your own using #PTAPop on social media. And while it’s fun to see PTA pop up in movies, music and television, it’s even more satisfying to know that it’s the good work PTAs around the world do that’s truly what puts us in the spotlight. Enjoy PTA in Pop Culture Week and have a wonderful holiday season!

Scott Meeks is the Communications Manager for National PTA.

New Resources Help You Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles

November offered a lot to celebrate: Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday to name a few. But it also celebrated Healthy Lifestyles Month, which brought families, schools, and communities together to improve the health of our children.

Even if you’re already practicing healthy habits at home, school is where children spend over 1,200 hours per year! That’s why it’s imperative to make sure they are getting nutritious foods and the recommended amount of daily physical activity at school.

Evidence shows that children who attend schools that promote physical activity and healthy eating perform better academically. What’s more, healthy school environments set the stage for children to adopt a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. Yet data shows several challenges schools face when it comes to implementing policies and programs that not only address childhood obesity but also enhance learning, behavior, attendance and more. Parents may want to help, but they don’t always know where to begin.

So what can you do?

Visit ParentsforHealthyKids.org, a new website from Action for Healthy Kids and National PTA, that helps parents and caregivers learn how to engage with school leaders and decision makers on health issues and find ways to help bring more physical activity and healthy eating to the school day.

In addition to providing ways to advocate for your child’s health at school, the website also provides tips, recommendations, recipes, and other ways to live a healthy lifestyle at home. This month, you can find new recipes as well as healthy holiday ideas.

In February, we’ll be announcing grants for parent-led projects, providing funds and technical support to schools and parent groups to implement health and wellness programs that include a family engagement component.

Learn more about these grants and sign up for other news here.

Parents may not fully realize what a powerful force for change they can be in schools when it comes to health and wellness. They have more of a vested interest in student health and learning than probably any other stakeholder, and they’re in a unique position to bring school staff, other parents and community partners together to improve it.

What better way to celebrate a healthy holiday season than to take action today?

Amy Moyer, MPH, RD, is the VP Field Operations with Action for Healthy Kids and mother of two girls.

 Action for Healthy Kids is a National PTA sponsor and has been invited to submit a blog post as part of their engagement with PTA.

How will your PTA change the lives of children in 2018?

The school-year kick-off is past and holiday craziness is on the horizon. Right now it’s time to grab a pumpkin spice latte, sit back and take stock.

Did the membership year start off with a bang? Maybe a mid-year drive is in order. Plan to start right after the holidays when potential members refocus on school. What value has your PTA already delivered? What value do you plan to deliver in 2018? Call attention to your success and ask for support for the future. Position membership in your PTA as a way to support students and PTA.  Ask people to join a successful movement to improve your school community.  People want to be part of successful teams. They want to know that their dues dollars have impact. Tie PTA membership with positive results.

Will your PTA meet its goals? Now is a good time to acknowledge successes and plan next steps. No goals? It’s not too late. Gather the board and decide what can be accomplished in 2018. Focus on empowering families to support student success.  Find a community agency or organization to partner in hosting a family event. Research your school’s goals and brainstorm ways to align PTA’s efforts to achieve goals together. Concentrate on making an impact and providing value to your community.

Are a few overworked volunteers trying to do the work of many? Consider how you ask for help: “Come be part of our success” vs. “We need people” and “400 children and family members had a blast in 2017. We’re aiming at 500 this year. Help us build an even better 2018 Spring Fair” vs. “We need volunteers for the Spring Fair.” Tie volunteer opportunities to outcomes, tell people they will be part of successful events, and help volunteers feel their volunteer hours have an impact. Break down opportunities into small jobs and find ways people can help from home or with their families—look for ways to help people say, “Yes” to the opportunity.

Candy canes will soon replace candy corn and PTA thoughts will take second place to planning family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Now is the time to make plans to jump start the New Year. How will your PTA change the lives of children in 2018?

Deborah Walsh is a National PTA Service Manager. 

Help Your Youth Leaders Prevent Bullying at Recess

The PTA’s Connect for Respect initiative recommends pulling together a team of youth leaders to address bullying. For National Bullying Prevention Month, Playworks is happy to share easy strategies that even the youngest leaders can use.

Bullying and conflicts often start on the playground. Playworks, a national nonprofit, helps schools improve recess to impact school climate. Here are 5 strategies we’ve found effective for youth leaders in upper elementary school.

1.   Become a team.

In Playworks’ youth leadership programs, small groups of older students serve as recess monitors for younger students and peers. To set the tone at recess, youth leaders need to trust each other and feel like a team. Consider a weekly meeting to play icebreaker games, learn about bullying and respect, and debrief playground experiences.

2.   Model positive language.

When older students give lots of high fives and use language like “Good job, nice try!” instead of “You’re out!”, younger kids will start to do the same. Elementary-aged children are still learning that words can hurt. Making positive language the norm can help minimize hurt feelings, frustration, and miscommunication.

3.   Solve conflicts with rock-paper-scissors.

Sometimes, bullying behavior can be hard to distinguish from still-developing conflict management skills. To address the latter, students can use rock-paper-scissors to solve small disputes. Youth leaders can remind students to “rock it out” on the playground. They can also help by letting adults know when to step in.

4.   Lead inclusive games.

As children develop social awareness and form friend groups, they may start to exclude peers. Adults can set the expectation that recess games should be open to everyone. Youth leaders can lead games and invite all students to join. They can also take responsibility for being on the lookout for students who may feel left out and inviting those children to play.

5.   Reinforce game rules.

To create an inclusive environment, all students need to know how to play common games. This means adults should review the rules, pay attention to different learning styles, and check for understanding—just like in the classroom.

Once students are on the same page, youth leaders can monitor games and make sure other students know how to play. Clear expectations make a big difference, especially for children working on social interaction. One Playworks parent shared,

“My 5-year-old twins were diagnosed with autism 3 years ago. If I had to choose one program out of the handful that help with social interaction, it would be Playworks. Playworks helps schools set parameters for all children to help them understand what is OK and what is not. I think all kids need that, but kids with special needs especially need that. Playworks immerses our twins into their community. Other children know them and are used to working with them.”

Assessing Recess Success

The PTA’s Connect for Respect initiative also recommends assessing your school’s safety and social environment. Playworks’ new Recess Checkup can help you do that on the playground. This short quiz helps you assess safety, engagement, and empowerment at recess and offers strategies for improving each.

Playworks supports schools around the country. Interested in bringing Playworks’ programming or professional development to your school? Get in touch here.

Meg Duff is the Marketing Manager at Playworks. 

Update from Florida PTA: All Children are Our Children

The following was shared by Cindy Gerhardt, President of Florida PTA.

Resilience.  That is our word for this year.  We are showing the capacity to not only recover quickly from the damage and chaos that Hurricane Irma brought to our communities, but we are being propelled back into the role of caregiver and advocate.  Only 10 days after Irma made landfall, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  While we know that many students from the Florida Keys, where schools have been extremely damaged, have been relocated to schools in Miami-Dade, we are now seeing hundreds of families from Puerto Rico migrating into areas in Central and South Florida.  We know that they are coming with very few possessions, scarce documentation and some with little mastery of English.

Here’s our call to action.  If your school is receiving these displaced families, please be mindful of what they have been and are still going through.  Most have lost everything.  If you can, put together a welcome package with basic toiletries, school supplies, spirit t-shirts, etc. – something that will help them feel some sense of normality.  Work alongside guidance counselors and other school staff to help meet other needs that may arise.  Some may be staying in short term housing, some in shelters, some with local family members.  If possible, let’s reach out and see how we can help with food, clothing and other necessities.

In the next phase, we will be working with district personnel and state decision makers to ensure that our schools are set up for success as they absorb these new families.  We’ll encourage common sense waivers and accommodations as we move forward to navigate the day-to-day curriculum and achievement expectations already in place for our schools.

Please stay tuned for more updates as we send them, and more importantly, please keep us posted on ways you and your volunteers are helping to provide a smooth and less distressing transition for these families and their children.  We will show them that our words are true, when we say ALL Children are OUR Children!

Cindy Gerhardt
President
Florida PTA

Parents Unite to Support America’s Healthiest Schools

When we drop our children off at school, we put great trust in the teachers and staff. Aside from home, kids spend the majority of their time at school, making it one of the most influential places in their most formative years.

As parents, we look to schools to support our children in reaching their full academic potential. At Shore Acres Elementary—my sons’ school where I serve as PTA president—that pursuit starts with being a healthy school.

We’re not your average healthy school. We’re one of America’s Healthiest Schools, a distinction earned through our work with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. We’ve transformed Shore Acres into a school where students eat healthier and move more, and staff are healthy role models.

Parents, teachers, students and community members played a major role in our achievement—but that doesn’t mean it happened overnight. Our transformation was fueled by commitment, teamwork and persistence. We did it, and you can, too! Here are three steps to consider:

  1. Start Small

Two years ago, we chose two PTA parents to serve on our school’s health and wellness committee. They worked alongside teachers and administrators to set new health and wellness goals for our school. While there were many things we wanted to improve, we knew we had to start small.

Using Healthier Generation’s Assessment tool as a guide, our PTA made small changes to support Shore Acres’ wellness transformation, like trading our annual chocolate fundraiser for a “fun run.” The event has become so successful that, last year, we used funds raised to provide recess activity bags, a school garden and even a new playground!

  1. Build Your Cadre of Wellness Champions

It takes a village to raise a child…and also to become one of America’s Healthiest Schools. Creating a strong network of wellness champions is essential to achieving your goals. Our PTA serves as a strong ally to Shore Acres, from connecting the school with a parent that leads school mindfulness programs to identifying local sponsors to fund health initiatives.

Our greatest victory, however, came when we tried to add recess back to the school day. Unfortunately many schools in Florida were no longer providing recess because of an increased focus on testing. But we were well aware of the research around health and academic performance—when kids are physically active, test scores go up; it’s that simple.

Determined to make our voices heard, we worked with the Florida PTA and school PTAs from around the state to advocate for a bill requiring 20 minutes of daily recess for public elementary school students. Through our strong cadre of PTA champions and many trips to Tallahassee, the bill was passed in 2017, restoring this critical play time for thousands of students across the Sunshine State!

  1. Be Steadfast and Consistent

Persistence paid off in our quest to bring recess back into the school day and so, too, did it in our mission to improve foods served and sold at school. We used Healthier Generation’s Smart Food Planner to ensure food served met the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School guidelines. We eliminated food-based fundraisers, instead favoring more creative ways to secure necessary funds. We worked to ensure staff felt supported and empowered to be healthy role models. Staff members participate in our run club, hold pedometer step contests and encourage students to stay active through class brain breaks.

The results of our concerted efforts have been nothing short of amazing. Teachers are healthier, student behavior has improved and parent involvement has increased. According to a recent district health screening, the number of obese and overweight students has decreased.

When it comes to school health, parents are a powerful force that can create healthier schools through actions big and small. From advocating for recess at the state level to creating healthier school events on the PTA calendar, we can have a major impact.

Ready to help your child’s school become one of America’s Healthiest Schools? Enroll the school in the Healthy Schools Program – or join its existing wellness team – to access free guidance, tools and trainings today!

Stephanie Cox is the PTA president at Shore Acres Elementary School in Pinellas County, FL, which was recently named to the 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.