February 19, 2018

Staff Wellness and Family Fitness Fun

By Juli Krepps, Donny O’Dell Elementary, Celina ISD

At O’Dell Elementary, we have dedicated ourselves to not only improving the health and wellness of our students; our focus this year is to reach out to our staff and families as well as continue to reach our students. Our “ODE”, as I like to call it, is driven to bridge the gap of information and inspiration between our school and community. We have instituted a few weekly and monthly activities, which involve accountability as well as the continued focus of overall health (including physical, mental and social health).

Our staff takes part in a monthly Wellness Challenge card where each person can post the card where it is visible by our students (accountability) and marks off dates where items are completed. This focus has helped continue to create the environment of health at school, helps hold our staff accountable to wellness, and has helped create a positive character environment for each of us.

Each month, a calendar is sent home with similar concepts to the Wellness Challenge cards for staff. These are challenges for students/families to continue health and wellness practices at home and make a different focus for each day/week of the months.

Our most recent promotion is our Family Fitness Fun Packs. These backpacks contain an assortment of items (MyPlate Bingo, Juggling Balls, Ribbon Hoops, Jump Rope, Dominoes, Pedometer, Frisbee) for use of our students and families over each weekend. The backpacks are checked out to different students each Friday (to be returned Monday), and each grade level of teachers selects the students; one backpack goes home per grade level at our school, 1-5. The backpacks also contain an information sheet with each of the items listed and some basic ideas on how each of the items could be utilized. A questionnaire sheet is included with each backpack for feedback from the families on the use of the items, what additional items may be useful to include, any donations to the backpacks, how many steps were calculated on the Pedometers, and any unique ways/games were created with the equipment. After the first weeks of implementation of our packs, feedback has been both positive and informational. We have ideas for other items to include in the packs and a couple ideas to incorporate into our lesson plans into the classes.

We are so excited to continue this focus of a health and wellness charge here in Celina!!!