Health and Wellness: Partnering With the School Day

Health and Wellness

"Health and wellness" is a crucial but often under-addressed aspect of school-day and afterschool programs, so it's important to work with the school team to support the health and wellness of students and staff. This Click & Go is designed to help program directors and site coordinators develop skills for integrating health and wellness through partnerships with the school day. This Click & Go can also support frontline staff members who seek to identify their own areas of strength and understandings around health and wellness.  

After completing this Click & Go, you'll be able to: 

  • Identify the standards related to health and wellness in 21st CCLC programs.

  • Identify partners within the school and community that can enhance the health and wellness component of your 21st CCLC program.

  • Integrate health and wellness into existing activities.

  • Assess your own level of readiness and social and emotional competence related to mindfulness and self-care.

Zip Link (95 MB) Click on the link to download the resources for this Click & Go! 


Mini-Lesson: Partnering With the School Day: Health and Wellness

Planning Health and Wellness Activities

In this first podcast, you’ll learn about the importance of (1) examining your views on health and wellness; (2) gathering data and assessing the needs of students, families and the community; (3) evaluating your current program offerings; and (4) planning for program improvements. [Download Transcript]

Connecting With School-Day Staff on Health and Wellness

Listen in to a discussion about ways to form meaningful partnerships with school-day staff, and how this can help you deliver high-quality health and wellness programming. [Download Transcript]

Health and Wellness On the Go

Get activity ideas and tools your 21st CCLC program can use to promote health and wellness. Hear about initiatives that other programs have found successfulExamples range from simple (e.g., nature walks that integrate science and physical exercise) to advanced (e.g., build-a-bike projects that integrate health education, engineering, mathematics and design). [Download Transcript]

Caring for Your Staff

Explore why and how to support your staff's health and wellness. Learn which words and actions can nudge them toward healthy thoughts and behaviors that benefit them — and the students they serve. Make sure they get this message: "Each of you is a valued team member, not a cog in the wheel." [Download Transcript]

25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Kids and Teens

A variety of mindfulness activities and tips for implementation with students of all ages. LINK

Choose My Plate

Tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs. Includes dietary guidelines, recipes and menus. Download the MyPlate mobile app to pick daily food goals, see real-time progress, and earn fun badges. Available in English, Spanish and other languages. LINK

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Information and resources on embedding social and emotional learning in a variety of contexts. Includes research briefs and policy updates. LINK

Healthier Generation

Tools and resources to support program assessment and improvement. Includes ideas for improving health and wellness activities in out-of-school time. LINK

National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Healthy Eating & Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for Out-of-School Time

Standards developed to support an increase in healthy eating and physical activity within afterschool programs. Provides an outline of best practices.

English: LINK

Spanish: LINK

HEPA Self-Assesment Tool: LINK

Out-of-School Time Supports Student Health and Learning

This webpage from the Centers for Disease Control includes tips for partnerships with school district staff and school wellness teams. LINK

Preparing Youth to Thrive

Standards, resources and plans for integrating social and emotional learning into school-day and out-of-school time settings. LINK

Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers

This guide from the National Institutes of Health has tips for teens on choosing healthy foods and drinks, staying active, getting sleep, and easing into healthy habits. LINK

We Can!

We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national movement from the National Institutes of Health to give parents, caregivers, and communities a way to help children ages 8 to 13 maintain a healthy weight. LINK

Your Healthiest Self: Wellness Toolkits 

These wellness toolkits from the National Institutes of Health have short, illustrated, evidence-based tips in five categories: your surroundings, your feelings, your body, your relationships and your disease defense. Available in English and Spanish. LINK

Youth Compendium of Physical Activities

Provides a list of 196 common activities in which youth participate and the estimated energy cost associated with each activity. Launched by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research in collaboration with CDC, NIH, USDA, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Fact sheet available in Spanish. LINK

If your feeder schools are in the same district, they most likely follow the same curriculum. Check the school district’s website to learn about any health and wellness initiatives or curricula. If feeder schools are in different districts, or if those resources aren’t available, consider leveraging the relationships you’ve formed within the different schools. Gather information from school-day staff and look for similarities. Use what they have in common to form your program’s health and wellness plan. 

Out-of-school time and school-day health and wellness goals should be aligned. Children benefit from reinforcement, so the messages they receive about the importance of health should be consistent across contexts. 21st CCLC and other out-of-school time programs have the opportunity to build on the health and wellness activities from the school day.

If you’re in a school building, speak to the school nutrition staff to see if there are ways to modify snack offerings. Make sure that any request is specific and doesn’t create additional responsibilities for staff outside the program. If an in-house partnership is impossible, consider turning to an outside partner. There might be a local business or farmers market that’s interested in donating healthy snacks one or two days a week. Such partnerships can give businesses an opportunity for advertising, building goodwill within the community and making a valuable social investment in a healthier generation.

Make sure you involve your staff in the decision-making process. They may be resistant not because they don’t agree with the idea, but because they’re unclear about what’s being asked of them or unsure of the time commitment. Consider setting aside professional development time to facilitate discussions about program offerings. Share your interest in promoting health and wellness, and ask for their thoughts and suggestions. You can also ask them what they need in terms of professional development and resources to feel better prepared to discuss, plan and implement health and wellness activities in the program.

Consider sending your principal an email ahead of the next meeting to suggest the additional item. You can even include a hook in your email, letting your principal know why you think aligning efforts is important and how this may have positive outcomes for your program and the school. Come prepared with questions and suggestions. Alternatively, you can bring up health and wellness as a natural offshoot of the discussion about behavior and attendance. Point to how shared goals in health and wellness between the school day and OST are likely to improve both behavior and attendance. 

Health and wellness can be part of your program even if there’s no written curriculum for your local school district. Your district may have health and wellness goals within courses, even if they aren’t collected into a central curriculum or defined as such. This is where your school-day partnership can help! Speak directly to your principals or school-day instructional staff to learn all you can about district or school goals that correlate with your health and wellness priorities. Task advantage of this great opportunity to develop goals together. Leverage your partnership and your knowledge of health and wellness to develop goals and plans that will benefit students throughout the day, including at home. Finally, consider making use of the National AfterSchool Association’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards for out-of-school time programs to guide the goal development process.