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Back to School Events

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Overview

kids doing obstacle course as parents watch“Back to School” events are a great way to engage parents and families in school wellness and promote healthy habits at home. A Back to School event typically provides attendees with opportunities to learn about a variety of school topics such as classroom education techniques, general school policies and procedures, and the school culture and are also a great tool to share with parents some information about your school-based wellness initiatives. Take advantage of this event tailored around parent engagement to get support for school wellness!

Take Action

Kick off a fantastic school year by integrating these simple and fun wellness-themed ideas into your Back to School event.

Promote school wellness: Set up an information table for students, parents, families and community members. Include age, content and culturally appropriate resources and educational materials. Consider asking for attendees’ names and contact information to communicate about engagement opportunities throughout the year.

Encourage healthy school meals and snacks: Invite the school’s or district’s food and nutrition department to host a taste test of healthy options being served in the cafeteria and throughout the school day. This will not only promote the school breakfast and lunch program but allow parents and students to give feedback about healthy foods options. Check out our guide to taste tests.

Take a physical activity challenge: Provide a sign-up sheet and resources for families to commit to participating in at-home physical activity. Have parents track activity points for the challenge at home or make it a classroom-based activity. Choose something that is enjoyable and accessible and set realistic goals.

Give a sneak peek: Ask your superstar teachers to provide a mini-session on healthy and active behaviors for students. Taking a few minutes to educate parents will not only help encourage positive health outcomes in students but link to academic success at school. Check out our resources on nutrition education and active learning opportunities.

Host a nutrition think tank: Ask your school nutrition staff to host lunchroom and cafeteria tours. Share with parents and families the components of a well-balanced school meal, and discuss tips on preparing healthy snacks and packed lunches.

Get creative about learning: Host a school-wide project to engage families in fun and creative activities centered in school wellness. Have students create or draw pictures of their favorite healthy foods and display the pictures around the school building. Set up a fitness circuit course in the gymnasium or in an open space and invite families to work as a team to complete each physical activity.

Tips

Invite a parent or rep from your parent organization to host a table on how parents can get more involved in your school health initiatives throughout the school year. Include photos from events, past accomplishments, and upcoming plans for the year to get parents excited about helping out! And, make sure to also have a sign-up sheet available to capture parent info and follow up within two days to keep the momentum going.

Highlight a local expert or special guest: Invite a health professional or local wellness champion to share an inspirational story about healthy living and how community members can support one another to create active schools.

Engage alums by inviting them back to help host an open gym for current students and use it as an opportunity to share their best tips for ‘survival’ during the school year.