The Holyoke Wellness effort strives to improve health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health, including decreasing levels of childhood obesity and rates of chronic disease particularly among vulnerable children, while cultivating the Holyoke community’s capacity for leadership, civic engagement, and policy advocacy. Specifically, HFFPC’s School Wellness Initiative seeks to make school wellness a priority within the Holyoke Public School System culture and overall school environment. The change effort aims to have schools promoting and encouraging healthy eating, physical activity, and nutrition and physical education among students. Schools can become a place where kids learn healthy lifelong habits and prepare themselves to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
District Wellness Policy Council
In spring of 2011, the Holyoke District Wellness Policy Council was officially launched, to serve as a subcommittee of the district’s Health Advisory Board. HFFPC is working to provide a condensed and simplified version of the 8 page district wellness policy to enable school staff and parents to better understand the suggested recommendations for food and exercise in the district. The district superintendent encouraged all school principals to help start school wellness groups in their respective schools to help assess current conditions and advocate for needed changes in their individual schools. For more information contact Ana at email@example.com.
Farm to School
Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council is working towards incorporating more healthy locally grown food into the school meals program as part of a larger school wellness and farm to school goal.
We have formed the School Food Taskforce, a collaboration between parents, teachers, school nurses, school food providers, students, principals, government agencies, community development agencies, and a variety of other members of the greater Holyoke community. The School Food task force will work towards more nutritious menus and local food procurement, and advocate for new and innovative food service projects such as Breakfast in the Classroom and USDA’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Snack Program.
For more information on this check out the School and Community Wellness Page.
Safe Routes to School / Walking School Bus
There is currently one school in Holyoke which has an active Safe Routes to School program, led by a parent volunteer who accompanies children to and from school to ensure their safe delivery. We are working with leaders from this school to expand the Safe Routes to School program to several other Holyoke schools in the 2011-2012 school year.