Healthy Students Initiative
The Healthy Students Initiative (HSI) is a seven-year Healthy Shasta project to develop and implement solutions to address and prevent childhood obesity in Shasta County schools. The goal of the Healthy Students Initiative is to improve the health and academic success of Shasta County students in three schools and to develop a roadmap for other local schools.
Research shows the academic success of students is strongly linked to their health. Students who are more physically active and consume a nutritionally balanced diet perform better in school. It is also easier for individuals to be more active and eat healthfully when their surroundings encourage such behaviors.
The Healthy Students Initiative has four areas of focus:
- Increase physical activity among students and families.
- Increase access to healthier foods and beverages on schools campuses.
- Empower students, staff, and families to speak up for healthy choices.
- Make long-lasting changes to support healthy eating and physical activity.
Healthy Students Initiative Partners
- Bella Vista Elementary, grades K-8, in Bella Vista School District
- Cypress Elementary, grades K-5, in Redding School District
- Lassen View Elementary, grades K-5, in Enterprise Elementary School District
- Shasta County Public Health
- Shasta Family YMCA
- The McConnell Foundation
Year One: 2008-2009 School Year
During the first year of the Initiative, we will:
- Build relationships within the school communities
- Share ideas about effective programs and practices
- Work with school administration, staff, parents, and students to develop a customized plan for promoting healthy eating and physical activity at school
- Establish active School Health Councils
- Collect health and wellness information
- Research additional funding opportunities
Years Two through Seven: 2009-2015 School Years
During years two through seven of the Initiative, we will implement and refine the customized plans we developed in the first year. Potential strategies for enhancing healthy eating and physical activity at the schools include hiring full-time Physical Education teachers, providing a healthy breakfast to all students, enhancing school gardens, and providing resources to families on ways to eat healthier and be more active.
Healthy Students Initiative News
Lassen View Cafeteria Manager in the News AgainKathie Sardeson is featured in an Associated Press article about what school nutrition workers are doing to help kids eat healthy. Congratulations Kathie!
Cypress Elementary School Head Cook HonoredIt's well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The students who get served hot meals at Cypress Elementary School in Redding have Head Cook Jackie Thurmond to thank for starting the day off right.
The program she helped develop has been so successful that Thurmond was recently recognized as one of California's Classified School Employees of the Year in the category of Child Nutrition.
With help from an HSI grant, Cypress School has undergone a transformation. Meals used to be prepared at another site and often included processed food. Now, with a full working kitchen and garden, students, and even some parents, fill their stomachs with many more entries cooked from scratch.
"Here, with our program, on Monday morning, you know that many students over the weekend haven't had many good meals and they come in and they're starving. It's so important for them to know they can come here and leave with full tummies, and they will have a better attention span in the classroom," Thurmond said.
Approximately 200 students take part in the program. For more information, please see video clip below.
Lassen View Elementary School's Cafeteria Manager HonoredKathie Sardeson, the cafeteria manager at Lassen View Elementary School in Redding, was recently honored by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) with the "Heart of the Program Award" for her efforts to provide healthy school meals and encourage healthy eating habits.
According to SNA's press release, "Kathie Sardeson embodies the extraordinary commitment of school nutrition professionals to the students they serve. She eagerly took on new tasks when her school began offering free breakfast for all students and launched a new mid-morning, healthy snack cart for students. Kathie enjoys experimenting with new recipes that add nutrition, color and taste appeal to the menu. Kids love her "Fear Factor Smoothie" made with fruit, yogurt and leafy greens, and she even convinced students to try Kale Chips during a recent Harvest of the Month taste test."
Through the partnership with HSI, funds have been utilized for additional kitchen staff and new kitchen equipment to make scratch cooking easier, including a potato wedger that is used to make healthy, sweet potato fries. Kathie and her staff incorporate new "no salt" recipes and healthy scratch cooking from trainings such as Reducing Sodium in Schools, Whole Grains, and Healthy Cuisine for Kids offered by HSI.
For more information, please see full press release and video clips below.
SNA Press Release
Local news coverage:
KRCR Channel 7 Interview 1
KRCR Channel 7 Interview 2
Lassen View Elementary YouTube Video
View a snapshot of what Lassen View School is doing as part of HSI. From a new walking path to salad bars and scratch cooking, Lassen View School is a place where the physical and cultural environment encourages healthy choices for both students and staff.
For more information, contact:
April Jurisich, MPH, RD
Healthy Students Initiative Coordinator
HSI Brochure (pdf)