My children went back to school this week. Part of me is celebrating; part of me knows that I will miss them. Who am I kidding? I miss them already.
All parents want to make sure that their schools are safe and healthy environments for their children. But how can we do that – what are the best ways to collaborate with our schools to help them keep our children safe and provide them with the best learning environment?
I found one place that can help! A friend of mine works at The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and sent me a link to their web-based Parent Resource Center. It’s great! The site has checklists and tool kits with questions you can ask your kids’ school about health and safety. The topics include medical emergencies, playground safety, safety at work for older kids who may be doing vocational education, safety on the road (think school field or sports trips), school-wide emergencies and school building safety.
The first tool kit that caught my attention focuses on food and nutrition. I’m currently part of a coalition working with the school system to provide better lunches for our kids. We have asked them to try to have fewer processed entrees, increase the fresh food choices and use local ingredients whenever possible. The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools includes a great checklist you could take to your school, too, to let them know you care about the foods they are serving. The tool kit includes questions to ask your principal or school board members, and questions to ask your child. It’s an easy way to let the school know you care about the food they are serving to kids and to start a dialogue about healthy foods.
The Center’s resources are great – they have given me lots more to think – and blog—about.
For more information about the Center, visit www.healthinschools.org.