FAMILY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
The family and community involvement component is one of the eight components in the Coordinated School Health Program model. Partnerships among families, schools, groups in the communities, and individuals are encourage in order to maximize the resources and expertise available to enhance the health and well-being of children and their families.
IDEAS FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Create a health advisory committee including the school administration and staff, PTA and the community. Review all the health initiatives at the school. Following the assessment, develop an integrated service plan.
Some ideas for parent/community involvement in coordinated school health:
- Have a regular column in the school newsletter on student and family health.
- Ask teachers to assign to their students sharing articles on health with their parents.
- Hold parent workshops. Include parents in the planning, and consider providing transportation, childcare, and food. Publicize these workshops in at least 5 different ways.
- Cooperate with local agencies to offer parent/student programs at the agency site. Have a program on fire safety at the local fire station, a program on poison control at the hospital, a program on playground safety at the local park, a program on bike safety at the police station, one on bus safety at the school bus compound, on nutrition at the 4-H extension office, etc.
- Working with parents and community partners plan a health fair for parents and students. Have lots of interactive events as well as mini workshops on various topics. Give each participant a card to have stamped as they go through each activity. Those who do all the activities get a certificate or small prize.
- Have a health tip of the day over the p.a. each morning.
- Involve parents and community members as volunteers at track meets and other performances.
- Ask PTA to sponsor awards for participation in sports, which also encourage academic excellence. Perhaps giving awards to a male/female athlete with the highest GPA.
- Sponsor parent/staff challenges in volleyball or basketball. Have students attend and bring a canned good for charity as the entrance fee. Have family walk-a-thons as awareness or fundraising activities.
- Provide information about physical activity and the importance of monitoring and limiting time kids spend on the computer and watching T.V.
- Include parent volunteers in trainings on universal precautions.
- Offer trainings for parents on first aid and CPR. Have informational sessions for parents on childhood asthma, allergies, diabetes, etc.
- Offer support groups for parents of children who have asthma, diabetes, etc.
School Nutrition Services:
- Form a parent-student nutrition advisory committee.
- Invite parents to eat with their children at least twice a year.
- Have a "Lunch Buddies" program where community members eat lunch with students once a month.
- Provide parents information on healthy snacks for after school - ones that are easy to make for latchkey kids.
- PTA could sponsor incentives for smoking cessation, weight and exercise program.
- Invite parents to participate in the above activities.
- Ask the guidance counselor to have a regular column in the school newsletter and to offer workshops for parents.
- Have a parent program with a panel of the special services offered in the district.
- Offer classes on conflict resolution for both parents and students.
Healthy School Environment:
- Work with the PTA to conduct an evaluation of the school environment - grounds, ventilation, handicapped access, safety features, etc.
- Develop a school-PTA project to improve some aspect of the school environment.
- Conduct a playground safety check with a certified playground safety inspector. Contact Kentucky School Boards Association for information.
Ideas from the National PTA brochure, Healthy Children ... Successful Students:
The lessons children learn at school must be reinforced and practiced at home. Help instill lifelong healthful habits in your children.
Some suggestions include:
- Be a healthy role model for your children. Practice good physical and dental hygiene, eat well, and exercise regularly.
- Make preventive health care and education a priority for your family. Take your children for regular check-ups and immunizations.
- Teach children how to manage anger, settle disagreements, handle frustration, and deal with conflict in a peaceful, nonviolent manner.
- Work to reduce environmental hazards in your home, school, and community. Use seat belts and child safety seats in your automobiles at all times.
- Serve a low-fat and high-fiber diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Participate in age-appropriate physical activity and exercise with your children.
- Talk with your children about the danger of substance abuse. Set clear rules about alcohol, tobacco, inhalant, and other drug use.
- Set limits on how much television your children watch and establish family guidelines for the type of programs they are permitted to watch.
- Establish open communication and share your values with your children and teens. Talk with them about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, HW/AIDS, and pregnancy.