Empower! - Laura Killingsworth and Kristin McGinley, Madison, WI
A project meant to bring college students into elementary schools to talk to young students about their health, Empower! received a grant to help bring the University of Wisconsin – Madison based student organization, Water Health Education for Life (WHEL) into Madison suburban schools. WHEL on the UW campus works to emphasize the importance of water, health and education at a local and global level, and this program is one of their crucial steps to bringing their ideals to the local community. The intentions of Empower! are introduce the above structures of health to children in after school programs in Lowell Elementary and Lindbergh Elementary between October and May of 2012. Currently, with cuts to funding surrounding all aspects of after-school programs, this grant will provide an opportunity to students that they would not otherwise receive, and WHEL has partnered with Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) in order to most effectively reach the students. The five-week program at each school will provide interactive educational experiences surrounding the lessons of nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, personal safety and the environment. The final piece to the puzzle of this project is the involvement of the parents after each session through a worksheet brought home by the student to discuss what happened earlier that day in session. This inclusion of parents into the program further reaches out into the community and strengthens the aims of the project.
Project HeartMath - Sarah Reuter, Milwaukee, WI
With the increasing prevalence of technology in the classroom today, Project HeartMath is the perfect program to introduce to school children to assess their own stress levels and learn how to remedy them. The emWave Desktop is a scientifically validated heart-rate monitoring system that facilitates learning techniques to create an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-sync. The Desktop displays heart rhythm patterns in real time to show the user when the above high-performance state is reached, called coherence. Student will learn and practice the Quick Coherence Technique using the HeartMath software, in order to improve their own self-regulation, decrease stress and increase positive outlook in numerous classroom situations. Through an eight-week program, students and staff at Patriqu DuSaint School will learn how to use the software, practice Quick Coherence Techniques, identify the sources of stress in the classroom, address and stop these emotional triggers, learn how to conserve emotional energy, acknowledge the power of compassion and self-kindness, transform anger at home, and learn how to transition HeartMath techniques into the classroom. The sustained practice of the Quick Coherence Technique will help decrease aggression related incidents in school, while increasing the student’s ability to have positive social behaviors and increased learning in the classroom.
Preschool Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Lessons for Immigrant Children and Families who are English Language Learners - Rebecca Schwei, Madison, WI
A program targeted to immigrant children between the ages of 3-5 and their families will be activated in Centro Hispano Preschool over the course of 16 weeks. The intentions are to bring awareness to immigrant families about the nutrition available in the Madison area, teach young children how to help make healthy snacks, and provide opportunities for families to be physically active in the community, and improve their own health throughout the culmination of these actions. Each lesson will include a story with a health message, a physical activity, a classroom activity, all which will reinforce the importance of collaboration and involvement in owns own food preparation to prevent obesity. Lessons have exciting and intriguing titles, such as: A is for Apple, F is for Fun, P is for Picky, D is for Detective, and so on. Each family will also receive a “Read it and Eat it” cooking kit, which includes a short book, the recipe cooked in class that day, and one of the main ingredients for the students to take home. This kit and their inclusion in the classroom activities, will encourage the parents to cook with their children at home and bring the importance of healthy living from the classroom to daily lifestyle.
Improving the Communication Gap Surrounding Sexual Health in Rural Wisconsin - Amy Olejniczak, Madison, WI
A grant received by the Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program is being applied to the program “Improving the Communication Gap Surrounding Sexual Health in Rural Wisconsin”. The program targets health care providers and youth ages 14-19 in rural counties throughout Wisconsin. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap of communication between health care providers and youth about sexual health. Nearly half of all Wisconsin high schoolers are sexually active (45%) and only 61% used a condom during their last sexual encounter. Health care providers are a critical and reliable source of sexual health knowledge, however, surveys have shown that 52% of youth have not discussed their sexual history with their health provider despite wanting to. The program aims to bridge communication gap between youth and their health care providers through workshops. The workshops will empower teens to utilize their providers and teach health care providers how to effectively interact with their adolescent patients. After participation in the workshops, youth in rural Wisconsin will feel confident to take control of their own health and seek the knowledge they need to be their healthiest.
Healthy Eating… Good for Me, Good for the Earth - Michelle Denk, Mount Horeb, WI
The project “Healthy Eating… Good for Me, Good for the Earth” targets K-12 students in the Mount Horeb School District. The goal is to create an environmentally sound way to dispose of organic waste from the lunch program to educate students and improve the school gardens. This will be accomplished by introducing students to composting and separating waste in the lunch room. Students will then use composed fruit and vegetable scraps for worm bins and eventually school hoop houses and gardens. The addition of hoop houses and gardens will then increase the amount of fresh produce being grown in the school. A lesson will be given each month focusing on topic relevant to the program including “Measuring our Waste” and “How to Maximize Recycling Efforts” for a total of nine lessons. Outside of the lessons students will be directly participating in the recycling efforts.
Community Fitness - Joe Woodhouse, Cashton, WI
The grant was awarded Cashton High School to target high school PE students and community members who would like to try a fitness class without investing in equipment. The program will provide fitness classes that are available financially and within distance from community members. The grant will allow the high school to provide fitness equipment for PE classes for the next three years. This will also make equipment available to community members for fitness classes which will increase the number of participants by 10% over a year. The use of the equipment would be approximately two weeks a semester for high schoolers and four to 12 weeks for fitness classes. The addition of the equipment will increase the community’s fitness activity and overall health.