Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Social Isolation in School Increases Children's Depression Risk: A study shows that children who did not have any friends were the most likely to be depressed during their teenage years and that those who were socially withdrawn had the highest risk of having a depressive affect. The lead researcher said that social relationships are an important factor in a child's emotional health that is often overlooked in the academic setting.

Project-Based Learning and Physical Education: In a recent blog post, educator and guest Whole Child Blog contributor Andrew K. Miller recommends using project-based learning (PBL) to add an element of authentic learning to students' physical-education experiences. Miller shares an example of an effective PBL project—in which high school students develop an exercise program—and encourages educators to try the PBL approach in their own PE classes.

Chicago High School Students Take On School Board to Demand Healthier, Tastier School Lunches: What do you get when you add together civic engagement, attention to school nutrition, student voice, and project-based learning? These Chicago high schoolers have the answer. Read about how they have combined improving school meals with social activism.


Childhood Obesity Research Facts: A recent blog post from Whole Child Partner SPARK shared some shocking childhood obesity research. What is your school or district doing to keep kids active?

Understanding Teen Dating Violence: Learn why Dating Matters through this free, online course for educators, youth leaders, and others working to improve the health of teens. The interactive course features interviews with leading experts and firsthand stories that describe what teen dating violence is and how to prevent it.

After-School Programs Are Key to Kids' Health and Wellness: Find resources for and examples of overcoming barriers to implementing health and wellness programs. Learn how after-school programs that increase community partnerships may offer solutions.

Take Action

LEGO Children's Fund Grant: The LEGO Children's Fund supports local and national innovative projects and programming to cultivate and celebrate a child's exploration of personal creativity and creative problem-solving in all forms. Award amounts vary. Eligible applicants are nonprofit and educational organizations. Deadline: January 15, 2011. Contact LEGO Children's Fund to apply.

The Federal Bullying Prevention Task Force Requests Your Input: The Federal Bullying Prevention Task Force is requesting public comments and ideas about ways to prevent and address bullying which will be considered in the development of the Strategic Plan for Federal Youth Policy. Comments will be received until January 21, 2011. Find out how to provide your input.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

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