Dear school administrators and school health teams,
At Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, we know that
good health and academic success go together.
Schools have the opportunity to help shape good
habits that can last a lifetime for our students. That’s
the reason that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
has created the Healthy Schools Program. It can
provide tools, resources and support to schools and
school health teams in the areas of nutrition, physical
activity and staff wellness.
The Healthy Schools Program recognizes that each
of our schools is unique. So the support the program
provides is customized to work effectively at each
All of us must work together to create a healthier
environment in our schools. Parents, students and
staff all have an important role to play in showing
and teaching healthy habits. Healthy students and
healthy staff achieve more together.
I hope you will consider having your school join the
Healthy Schools Program.
Superintendent Peter Gorman
Sam’s Club Offers Funding for
The Sam’s Club Giving Program supports organizations
that help prevent disease and promote
healthy living. Their recent gift to the Alliance for a
Healthier Generation will provide additional resources
in several communities across the country.
We are thrilled that Charlotte-Mecklenburg is
one of the counties that has been selected to receive
support through the Sam’s Club grant.
The first 40 schools to join the Healthy Schools
Program will receive substitute reimbursement for a
school representative to participate in the two fall
training sessions. CMS will also offer professional
development credit for those who complete the
trainings. Dates will be announced soon!
To learn more about how you can get involved,
hear from schools already enrolled in the program
and get access to free resources, keep reading!
Time is Running Out: Join the Healthy Schools Program Today!
Thanks to the support of Coordinated School Health Specialist Nancy Langenfeld, Charlotte-Mecklenburg
schools have the opportunity to enroll in the Healthy Schools Program at no cost by submitting the attached
signed agreement by June 10 th .
Participation in the Healthy Schools Program is an excellent way to gain assistance for your ongoing school
health efforts, secure free or discounted resources and receive recognition for your efforts. The North Carolina
Relationship Manager, Shauvon Simmons-Wright worked directly with 8 CMS schools this year to complete
their Coordinated School Health action plans and implement best-practices in the areas of: wellness
teams, school meals and snacks (including vending machines, healthy fundraisers and celebrations), employee
wellness, health and physical education, physical activity and before and afterschool programs.
There are spaces for 40 schools to join for the 2011-2012 school year. The enrollment deadline is
June 10 th . Send in the MOU on Page 5 and join the movement!
More About the Healthy Schools Program
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart
Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, was formed in 2005
as a response to the dramatic increase in prevalence of childhood obesity
across the nation. Currently, as many as 1 in 5 students in many
states meet the criteria for overweight.
The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program
has provided free training and resources to
districts across the country on how to successfully
increase physical activity and
healthy eating among students and staff
since 2006. Each school has access to: a
local Relationship Manager to guide the
School Wellness Council, experts in each
content area, membership discounts on
evidence-based resources as well as the
opportunity to apply for national awards.
The Healthy Schools Program outlines
the course of action for making sustainable changes in its Six
Step 1: Convene a school wellness council to plan and lead
implementation of the Healthy Schools Program in the school.
Step 2: Complete the Inventory in the Healthy Schools Builder to
identify areas for improvement.
Step 3: Develop an Action Plan based on what is important and
achievable in the school community.
Step 4: Identify resources that can facilitate implementation of the
Step 5: Take Action! Follow the Action Plan to create a healthier school
Step 6: Celebrate Success! The Healthy Schools Program works with
schools to celebrate small victories and big successes along the way.
Connecting Your School With Local Resources
MECKLENBURG COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
“My daughter normally takes the bus, but there was no way she was
going to miss the school’s walk-to-school day today!” said one Olde
Providence Elementary School parent when asked how her children
normally get to school. Dick Winters, Mecklenburg County Health Department’s
Safe Routes to School Coordinator, says this is more the
rule than the exception for Olde Providence’s monthly walk/bike to
school events. He has been working with Olde Providence’s Physical
Education Instructor, Peggy Furr, to help build participation by offering
pedestrian and bicycle safety classes to all 2 nd and 4 th graders at the
Winters also works with Cotswold Elementary on its monthly walks. The
weather cooperated so well that the school’s walk in April had over half
of the 620 student population on foot or bikes that day. There was a
noticeable reduction in
the number of cars
dropping students off,
which reduced congestion
around the school.
More schools are looking
walking and cycling
into their routines.
Winters is a local resource
to help evaluate
a school’s setting
and the various ways
students and parents
might have to get to
and from school on foot or two wheels. Additional resources are available
to deal with infrastructure issues like sidewalks, signage, crossing
guards or other traffic calming needs. Contact Winters at 704-432-4596
SUCCESS STORIES CHARLOTTE | 2011 2
SUCCESS STORIES FROM CHARLOTTE
Showing Students How Food Choices Affect
their Bodies and Minds
SMITHFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL | CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
“I have struggled with the eating habits of school children for more than
3 years and finally figured out a way to make it fun for the students this
year,” said Heather Curtis-Sowell, 3 rd grade teacher at Smithfield Elementary.
“It is so hard to teach students to begin with, but when adding
in that many students eat only empty calories at breakfast, crash from
the sugar high right after lessons begin, eat more junk at lunch, can't
concentrate again afterwards and then fall asleep, it got really frustrating.
My hope is to bring
awareness to the students
and help them understand
how their choices affect their
bodies and minds.”
To do this she launched a
fruit and vegetable challenge
last fall. She divided her
class up into teams and
each team chose a name
and created a healthy food
poster. Now they are tracking
what they eat for lunch
(Curtis-Sowell signs off on their logs) and at home (parents sign off).
Students can earn up to five points a day for getting in their five fruits
and vegetables. At the end of each month the teams get together with
their calculators and tally up their points. Since they have been working
on learning division, they now calculate the average intake per student
as well as the individual, team and class totals. Now the class is challenging
other classes to take them on.
Curtis-Sowell has noticed a shift in her students since the project began.
“My students take pride in their food choices when picking items in the
lunch line. And it is carrying over to their homes. I’ve had parents get
really excited because their child is finally eating more healthy food. My
students have seen and felt the difference when they eat healthier
foods. They are better able to concentrate and focus on their work.”
“We try to do everything we can to promote healthy, active kids,” said
Principal Allison Harris. “We do Dancing with the Principal every week.
Rewards are all physical activity- five extra minutes of recess, dances,
even our field trips are active! We do brain breaks in the classroom and
we let kids have water bottles on their desks to keep them hydrated.
Everything we do here is based on brain research and being a part of
the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program fits in perfectly with that.”
Charlotte Students “Commit To Be Fit”
MOUNTAIN ISLAND ELEMENTARY | CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
“This school has always had a focus on health,” said food services
manager Danielle Corbin. “A few years ago we won the Moose is Loose
competition to increase breakfast consumption. This year we won a
Fuel Up to Play 60 grant to help us do more programming on nutrition
and physical activity. We held a kick-off in the fall called the “Commit to
Be Fit” luncheon where we had students demonstrate different fun ways
to stay active like hula-hooping, karate and dancing. The message was
to play for 60 minutes a day– turn off the screens and go outside!”
The school then used the rest of
the funds to bring in a program
from the Discovery Place called,
“You are What you Eat.” This was
a program where 5th grade students
spent an entire day talking
about proteins, fats, sugars and
how to read food labels. The next
day the 5th graders became the
teachers and brought the younger
students into the science labs to
share the information.
They are gearing up for the endof-year
celebration where they will
be joined by members of the
Charlotte Panthers and they will taste test the new “Cambrosia” salad,
in honor of new Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
SUCCESS STORIES CHARLOTTE | 2011 3
Congratulations to the following schools for being the first CMS schools
to enroll in the Healthy Schools Program. They have successfully
completed their Coordinated School Health assessment and action
plans and they are actively working on creating a healthier school!
•Ballantyne Elementary School
•Elizabeth Lane Elementary School
•Highland Renaissance Academy
•Sedgefield Elementary School
•Sedgefield Middle School
•Smithfield Elementary School
•West Charlotte High School
How to Join the Healthy Schools Program:
Please sign and submit a Healthy Schools Program MOU to Shauvon
Simmons-Wright, NC Relationship Manager at Shauvon.Simmons-
Wright@HealthierGeneration.org by June 10th. The MOU can be found
at the end of this document and can also be sent to you. If you have
questions feel free to contact Shauvon at 919-661-7944 or Nancy
Langenfeld, Coordinated School Health Specialist for Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools at 980-343-6269 or
Students must be healthy to learn.
And students must learn to be healthy.
The research is clear: healthy, properly nourished and fit students are
better able to concentrate on their work, attend school on a regular basis
and perform well in class and on tests. Simply put, you can better
achieve academic performance goals when the students and staff are
well nourished and physically active. While children’s health is not solely
dependent on their school, schools can have a significant impact by
creating an environment that fosters healthy behaviors among students
Overweight and Obesity
An estimated 16% of youth are overweight to a degree that affects their
health. Being overweight can trigger or exacerbate a variety of chronic
medical conditions in school-aged children including asthma, joint problems,
Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression/anxiety
and sleep apnea. ,,
Why should schools care?
Severely overweight children miss four times as much school as normal
weight kids and often suffer from depression, anxiety and isolation
from their peers.
Absenteeism is directly linked to academic performance. A 2004 study
in Texas found that the higher the attendance rate in a given district,
all other things being equal, the higher the district’s pass rate
on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
Absenteeism that is a result of health issues related to childhood obesity
could lead to a potential loss in state aid of $95,000 per year in
an average size school district in Texas, and $160,000 per year in
an average California school district. The loss in state funding in
large cities could be much higher. For example, New York City
could lose about $28 million each year, while Chicago could forfeit
an estimated $9 million and Los Angeles an estimated $15 million.
SUCCESS STORIES CHARLOTTE | 2011 4
State: ______ ZIP:
Healthy Healthy Healthy Schools Schools Program
Memorandum Memorandum Memorandum of of Understanding
2011 2011-2012 2011 2012 School School School Year
Name of School Contact: ______________________________
Phone Number: (_____)
Participating in the Healthy Schools Program gives schools access to a
variety of experts, resources and support to help achieve the Healthy
Schools Program goals. The Healthy Schools Program staff is committed
to facilitating your team’s efforts to develop local solutions and strategies
over multiple years up to a maximum of four school years.
The Healthy Schools Program agrees to:
• Provide support and technical assistance to schools and school districts
to support their efforts to improve nutrition, physical activity
and staff wellness
• Recognize schools that meet the Healthy Schools Program Framework
• Broker local, state and national resources to support schools in implementing
• Provide support in aligning school and district policies and contracts
to our beverage and snack food guidelines intended to provide access
to healthier foods and beverages
The school listed above agrees to participate in the Alliance for a
Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.
As a participating school, we agree to:
• Designate a school-level contact for the Healthy Schools Program
• Build and maintain a School Wellness Council that meets at least
every other month
• Ensure that School Wellness Council representatives participate in
all technical assistance sessions
• Complete the Healthy Schools Inventory
• Develop and implement an annual Action Plan that is aligned with
the Healthy Schools Program Framework
• Communicate regularly with our Relationship Manager
• Participate in Healthy Schools Program evaluation activities, as requested
• Commit to participating in the Healthy Schools Program for multiple
Nothing in this memorandum of understanding shall be deemed to be a commitment
or obligation of Alliance or school funds. The Healthy Schools Program
reserves the right to terminate this agreement in its sole discretion if it does not
receive continued sufficient external funding.
Principal Printed Name: _____________________________
SUCCESS STORIES CHARLOTTE | 2011 5
HSP Relationship Manager Signature: