Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens does a lot of work with area schools. From conducting field trips to teacher trainings to the Fairchild Challenge at Phipps, we reach a lot of students and educators each year. Let’s Move Pittsburgh, a program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, is working to take this work out into the community to positively impact children’s health.
Let’s Move Pittsburgh and Phipps are partnering with area schools by inspiring and celebrating champions committed to promoting healthy food choices and increased physical activity for local students. Children spend a large percentage of their time in school, presenting us with a great opportunity to impact their well-being. To this end, the Champion Schools Award program, supported by Giant Eagle, recently solicited applications from area schools, as well as organizations working within these districts, for both seed grants to fund new projects and awards to acknowledge existing efforts to foster healthy lifestyles.
Young explorers learn about building healthy lifestyles at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Photo by Cory Doman
As a result of this program, Let’s Move Pittsburgh was able to provide resources and funding to 21 schools in Allegheny County that will implement programs and projects during the 2014-2015 school year related to the following themes: Bag the Junk—Increasing Healthy Food and Nutritional Education in Schools, Getting Kids Moving, and Inspiring Kids to Grow and Cook Food. Awards range from $500-$1,500, with priority given to public, charter and private preschool and elementary schools. To ensure success, Let’s Move Pittsburgh offered resources, project examples and networking opportunities to assist with the development of programs that will have a measurable impact.
“As part of the Champion Schools Award program, Let’s Move Pittsburgh challenged local educators to increase student access to healthy foods, develop opportunities for kids to be physically active, and incorporate cooking and gardening activities into the school environment,” says Hannah E. Hardy, Let’s Move Pittsburgh director of programming and operations. “The response was wonderful, and we are really excited and inspired by all of the health-promoting projects we are now pleased to support.”
Want to make schools healthier? Here are some ideas:
- Does your school have a wellness council? Consider joining or starting one!
- Start a healthy fundraiser at your school.
- Assemble a team to put on a health expo for families.