Students and teachers in the San Juan Unified School District will soon implement a new wellness program thanks to a Thriving Schools grant from Kaiser Permanente.
The district’s grant of $23,000 will allow five elementary schools -- Dyer Kelly, Greer, Howe Avenue, Pasadena Avenue, and Whitney Avenue -- to implement Fire up Your Feet. The program encourages increased physical activity for students, staff and families with an emphasis on pedestrian and bicyclist safety education as well as a nutritional component.
“The San Juan Unified School District is committed to the health and well-being of every student and staff member, and of the district families and communities,” said Linda Bessire, Ed.D., director, Pupil Personnel Services, for the district. “The Thriving Schools grant is a needed resource to help encourage an increase in student physical activity through the Fire Up Your Feet program. Helping students be more active can enhance the health of students, and can help increase their learning and academic achievement.”
The Community Benefit grants are just one part of Kaiser Permanente's new Thriving Schools initiative to build healthy, sustainable communities by creating a culture of health in schools. It provides prevention-focused, evidence-based wellness tool -- at no cost -- to any school. By helping students, staff, and teachers be more active and eat more healthfully, schools can have a positive impact on the health of the community and likely improve academic and professional performance at the same time.
The health care organization is awarding 15 Thriving Schools grants across Northern California this year to increase physical activity and improve healthy food offerings for students and teachers at their schools.
“Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools initiative is focused on making healthy choices easy, accessible, and a part of everyday life in our schools,” said Yvette Radford, vice president of External and Community Affairs in Northern California. “This initiative is one of the cornerstones of our organizational commitment to the total health of our members and the communities that we serve. It also builds on our many years of work with schools in our community.”
Thriving Schools also features Fire Up Your Feet, a new online program developed by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and the National PTA. The program’s goal is to improve the health of students, teachers, and families by encouraging safe walking, bicycling, and other physical activities with online tools free for anyone to use.
For more information, visit kp.org/communitybenefit/ncal. To learn more about Thriving Schools, visit kp.org/thrivingschools.