Invite to District Wellness Committee 21-22

Dear Faculty, Staff and Parents,

According to the Erie County Department of Health, about 18% of all children and teens in Erie County are obese. Childhood obesity is leading to a range of health problems in our youth that previously weren’t generally seen until adulthood, including high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and elevated blood cholesterol levels.

 We believe we have a responsibility to improve the health and well-being of our children. Experience shows that schools can be powerful places to initiate behavioral and environmental changes for students and staff. To make our school environment healthier, our school district is partnering with Erie 1 BOCES on the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Grant through the NYS Department of Health. We will be working directly with Kate Huber, the Grant Coordinator.

 Specifically, Erie 1 BOCES will be providing technical assistance, coaching and resources to eight school districts in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties (Cheektowaga Central, Cheektowaga Sloan, Lackawanna, Maryvale, Randolph, Salamanca City, Springville Griffith Institute and West Valley School Districts) and the communities that surround them. The assistance and resources will enable the school districts and communities to implement sustainable policy, systems, and environmental changes to create a “Culture of Wellness.” The goal is to develop schools and their surrounding communities into places where it is easier to practice healthy behaviors.

Expected Outcomes include:

Increased access to healthy affordable foods including:

● Increased number of schools with healthy nutrition environments; standards for competitive foods and food marketing to children;

● Increased number of schools with comprehensive and strong Local Wellness Policies;

● Increased number of community organizations, municipalities, and worksites that have adopted healthy food standards.

Increased access to opportunities for physical activity including:

● Increased number of schools with Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs;

● Increased access to places to walk, bicycle, and wheel; and

● Increased number of local policies that have language supportive of environmental changes that enhance walking, bicycling, and rolling.

A wellness committee is going to be established to address the efforts of this program. Ideally, the committee will consist of board members, administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, school psychologists, health personnel, students, parents, community members and union representatives. The committee will be conducting various assessments as we work to develop and implement comprehensive wellness policies.

The purpose of the committee is to bring together representatives from the school community who can help address issues facing the health and well-being of our children. As a valued member of our school community, your input is particularly important, and we would be honored to have you as a School Wellness Council member.

We understand that your time is valuable, and we want you to know we are committed to making positive changes in policies and programs that affect the health of our students and staff. We will be examining and planning for changes in the classroom, cafeteria, playing fields and more.

Our first meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The meeting will be a virtual Teams Meeting from 4:15-5:15PM. We anticipate holding meetings 3 times per school year.

If you have any questions or want to know more about what sort of responsibilities you will have as a member, please call Amy D’Amato, Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics. We hope you will accept our invitation and join us in taking action to promote a culture of wellness for our students, staff and families! If you would like to join the Wellness Committee, please fill out and submit the following form

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=5D75leZQrkG20bUpaffCnTBiwz4DMptFoCLwxLOCAsZUNDgwSk0xVVdKSTVUQVJUTDNGUFIwTEk4OC4u

 

 Sincerely,

Amy D’Amato

Lackawanna CSD

Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics

(716) 821-5610  ext. 7768

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