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Seneca County schools promote healthy eating and increased physical activity

All four Seneca County school districts are participating in the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) Grant. The CHSC Grant allows increased access to opportunities for students to be more active and improve nutrition.  

Romulus Central School District has purchased grow towers, grow lights, and materials such as lumber, soil, garden tools, and shed, to aid in the building and maintaining of garden beds. A mixer with an apple corer extension was provided to the baking/food class to promote the preparation of healthy meals. The school district purchased a range of equipment for games such as badminton, floor hockey and racquetball, as well as yoga mats and drumming sticks for physical education classes, clubs and Kidsafe. More than ten physical activity kits have been purchased to promote movement in PreK-K classes and the sensory walk will be updated and expanded to allow elementary students movement breaks throughout the day. Elementary students will receive T-shirts that promote health and wellness at field day events and the school district has also created a fit club and smart snack after school programs.  

Waterloo Central School District has a strong District Wellness team who meets three times per year to review their wellness initiatives, policies, and goals. Each building has a wellness coach who oversees building level initiatives. Five hydroponic grow shelves and three hydroponic grow towers were purchased. Those purchases will allow the schools to grow up to six hundred different fruits and vegetables. Ga-ga pits have been constructed near the playground of each elementary school to provide more opportunities for physical activity.  

Seneca Falls Central School District has purchased grow towers for the elementary and high schools. Food service, Science, and Go Green clubs will receive supplies to build two raised garden beds. To increase physical activity, the Frank Knight Elementary School will receive a rock-climbing wall, elementary physical education classes will receive razor scooters and helmets, and Mynderse Academy will receive a disk golf set and two ping pong tables.  

South Seneca Central School District has formed a District Wellness Committee that will meet regularly to work on policy analysis and revision. Using suggestions from Wellsat, a draft policy was created by the Wellness Committee and posted on the school’s website for community feedback. Grow towers will be ordered for next year and staff will provide instruction on how to best utilize the grow towers. Salad spinners and gardening supplies will also be provided. CHSC funds will also allow the school to build a student garden and create a new unit on greenhouse gardening. Middle School teachers will receive a recess cart to increase purposeful and engaging play. Based on feedback received from the students who volunteered for the Wellness Committee, the elementary physical education teacher will receive mini trampolines. Fifth grade students are planning an end-of-the-year dance to highlight both social and physical wellness and will include an outdoor space for lawn games, physical activities, and healthy food for the kids to enjoy.  

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