McKINNEY — Many adults long for the robust vitality and unlimited energy they enjoyed as children. But, many of today’s Texas schoolchildren may one day look back to this time of their lives with a different perspective. According to the Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health, nearly 37 percent of Texas kids between the ages of 10-17 are obese.
In light of that troubling fact, McKinney ISD continues to lead the way in the mission to fight childhood obesity and promote an active, healthy lifestyle among its students. For the past several years, the list of area schools recognized by the Cooper Institute® (CI) Healthy Zone program has become densely populated with MISD campuses. And, this year, more schools have been added.
For 2014, McKinney High School has been named a Healthy Zone School, and Bennett Elementary, Wilmeth Elementary and McNeil Elementary have been added to the list of Healthy Zone In-Training Schools. These campuses join nine other MISD schools already on the Healthy Zone list and three currently on the In-Training list.
MISD Healthy Zone Schools
Burks Elementary ^
MISD Healthy Zone In-Training Schools
|* promoted from In-Training in 2014
^ “Alumni” status achieved after 3 years on the list
“It’s important to honor our schools for their healthy practices and to assist schools that wish to establish an environment that is optimal for healthy behaviors,” said MISD Health and P.E. Coordinator Karin Klemm. “That is exactly what the Healthy Zone School recognition does. These schools go above and beyond in promoting the health and wellness of our community, staff and students.”
The vision and hard work that results in Healthy Zone recognition produces benefits beyond physical health. “Research supports that a student that engages in a healthy diet and exercises regularly will improve their cognitive capacity, and we choose to champion our students and promote learning through a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Logan Faris, principal of McKinney High School. “Our motto supports this commitment: Healthy Heart, Healthy Mind, Healthy Lions!”
The Healthy Zone School Recognition Program began four years ago when CI partnered with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) to support the fight against childhood obesity by recognizing a handful of select schools each year for their outstanding efforts to promote health and wellness among their students.
Evaluation of campuses for Healthy Zone or Healthy Zone in Training recognition revolves around how effectively those schools are addressing eight components of coordinated health: 1) health education; 2) healthy and safe school environment; 3) counseling and mental health services; 4) parent and community involvement; 5) staff wellness promotion; 6) health services; 7) physical education and 8) nutrition services.
Schools that are achieving outstanding results in all areas can apply for Healthy Zone recognition while schools seeking to improve some components can apply for Healthy Zone in Training status. Those schools receive CI assistance to help them achieve their health goals and ideally, to be promoted to the Healthy Zone School list. All designations last 3 years, at the end of which schools may apply to become Healthy Zone Alumni.
In addition to CI's expert support, Healthy Zone and Healthy Zone in Training schools also receive $1,500 in funding for Physical Education equipment and other P.E., health or nutrition-related materials along with $1,500 for activity promotions.
Children shouldn't be burdened by the challenges and complications associated with obesity. Teaching kids to live a healthy lifestyle today is a sound investment that pays dividends far down the road. And hopefully, in many years, when today’s MISD students look back on their journey, they’ll find an uninterrupted path of health and vitality – that starts right now.
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.