Color Me Healthy (PreK)
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Partnering with Schools
Schools can be a promising place for change. Children are young enough to learn and form new habits; they eat meals and snacks at schools on weekdays; schools are full of role models and mentors for children; and schools generally have spaces designated for physical activity.
Taken together, education, PSE, and social marketing changes are more effective than any of these strategies alone for improving health and preventing obesity.
Steps to Health Color Me Healthy serves preschoolers and kindergarteners across North Carolina in schools, Head Start, and Child Care Centers.
Color Me Healthy is a nutrition and physical activity program for children ages four and five. It is designed to stimulate all the senses of young children: touch, smell, sight, sound, and of course, taste. It uses color, music, and exploration of the senses to teach children that healthy eating and physical activity are fun.
Steps to Health Color Me Healthy is comprised of nine lessons chosen from the Color Me Healthy curriculum. Taste tests have been added to coincide with each lesson in order to enhance the multi-sensory learning experience. Parent handouts were enriched to contain nutrition tips, family physical activity suggestions, reading book recommendations, and grocery store adventures. All participants are awarded a certificate of participation at the completion of the program. Evaluation of the program is conducted via parent and teacher feedback forms.
- Before You Program
- Steps to Health Program Request form (complete a form for EACH program)
- Site Eligibility – In order to qualify for Steps to Health programming, schools must participate in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program. The school building must have at least 50% of students receiving a free or reduced meal. Before beginning programming, use this spreadsheet to confirm that a school qualifies: Steps to Health Eligible Schools. For questions on determining school eligibility, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For virtual surveys and data related information, please contact STH-DataManager@ncsu.com
- Color Me Healthy Participation Letter
- Teacher Agreement
- Attendance Form – writable
- CMH Schedule Template
- Educator Feedback
- Teacher Feedback
- Certificate Template
- Certificate Template with Extra Signature Line
- Certificate Template with Fruits and Vegetables
- Supplemental Activity: My Garden Worksheet
- REACH – Motivate and celebrate ECE programs’ nutrition and physical activity quality improvement with REACH! REACH (Recognizing ECE’s Advancing Children’s Healthy Habits) is a statewide pilot to publicly recognize ECE programs that go “above and beyond” to support children’s health and healthy habits. ECE programs are eligible for REACH recognition when they meet key Go NAPSACC evidence-based practices in one or more of the following areas: Child Nutrition, Farm to ECE, Oral Health, Physical Activity, Outdoor Play & Learning, and Screen Time. Recognized programs receive signage, marketing materials, a profile on the REACH website, mentions on social media and other public recognition. To learn more, go to https://reach-recognition.org/
- For virtual surveys and data-related information, please contact STH-DataManager@ncsu.com
Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change (PSE)
PSE initiatives are based on many factors that influence what people eat and how they choose to be active. From access to healthy food to the walkability of communities, people adopt certain heath behaviors for a variety of reasons.
Steps to Health’s PSE toolkit for schools can be a great tool for partnering with schools to make create a healthier school environment.
Walk audits can be a powerful tool for identifying both assets and needs within a community’s built environment, but also for bringing community members together around a shared vision. You might also use a walk audit to build on momentum from PSE work done at the organizational level to expand on changes to the built environment within the broader community.
This guide helps communities to assess and enhance their physical environment in places where people live, work, learn, pray, and play, by facilitating community-led walk audits.
In addition to the guide, Steps to Health and Faithful Families developed a series of video modules to highlight steps to planning community-led walk audits. These videos can be utilized to assist local organizations in planning and conducting community-led walk audits to assess the physical environment, walkability, and to increase safety. Additionally, community partners and leaders share successes from their own experiences, demonstrating the positive impacts that walk audits can bring to communities.
Do you want to continue to encourage teachers, parents, and caregivers to make the healthy choice year round? The Steps to Health text message campaign continues engagement with these groups! To implement this in your community:
- Build internal support. This could be a teacher you already work closely with or the School Health Advisory Committee.
- Market with your supporting partners. This could be done by sending students home with a contact card for their parents or sharing digitally through social media and newsletters.
- If you would like to report how many people in your county signed up as a result of your efforts, email email@example.com.
Already using this toolkit or partnering with schools? Here are some additional resources you may need: