The following information was released by Cypress School District.
Seven years ago, the Cypress School District was awarded a state grant from the Network for a Healthy California. The Network for a Healthy California is a federally funded nutrition education and physical activity promotion program dedicated to creating healthy school environments. The mission of the Network is to empower low-income students and their families to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity, with the goal of preventing obesity and other diet related chronic diseases.
We are currently entering our eighth year of the grant, which provides nutrition and physical education for students at King School.
Health care experts know that health behavior is developed during childhood. Preventable diseases are on the rise, with incidences of childhood Diabetes increasing ten-fold over the past 30 years and childhood obesity quadrupling in that same period. The primary cause is poor diet and inactivity. Lenette Brown, Director, Food Services, says, “It is critical that our children be given the tools they need to become healthy, productive adults.” The National Institute of Health (NIH) has stated, “Preventive programs need to be initiated in elementary school, since by the time children reach middle school more than 20 percent are obese.”
With the help of grant consultant Dr. Rasha Abdrabou, students at King School have participated in the “Harvest of the Month” program, which promotes a new fruit or vegetable each month and allows students new experiences with healthy foods. Students are also educated about healthy eating habits, including portion size, reading food labels, and hidden fats and sugars in foods. In addition, physical activities help to reinforce the link between physical activity and health. Nutrition education has been tied to the California Content Standards, with students studying the ancient civilizations, such as Greece, learning about Greek food, for example. All materials and all food for cooking activities are provided using grant funds.
In addition to healthy activities tied to the grant, the Cypress School District Board of Trustees has made it a priority, with the leadership of Child Nutrition Services Director Lenette Brown, to be proactive in monitoring children with food allergies and ensuring that they are protected while at school.
- Highlights from the September 2012 meeting of the Cypress School District Board of Trustees (oc-breeze.com)
- Message for September from Cypress Superintendent Beverly Hempstead (oc-breeze.com)
- July 2012 Cypress School Board highlights (oc-breeze.com)