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Healthy Schools Support Learning: Wells Middle School

On October 2, 2015, at the 2015 Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will recognize Wells Middle School as one of 376 schools that have transformed the school environment into a healthier place as part of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.

The Healthy Schools Program, a national, school-based childhood obesity prevention initiative, has worked with more than 30,000 schools to increase quality physical activity, health education, and nutrition.

The Program is particularly important as aside from home, kids spend most of their time at school, making schools important places to influence kids’ behavior and lifelong health habits. Research shows that healthy students learn better: they perform better on tests, get better grades, attend school more often and behave better in class.

At Wells Middle School, students, staff, administrators and parents are all playing an integral role in building a healthier school community. Every morning, the school provides a nutritious breakfast to help students fuel up for a day of learning; as part of this breakfast program, students can enjoy freshly prepared smoothies packed with fruits and vegetables.

"This year we created a more appealing lunchroom by hanging posters, using attractive baskets to display fruits and vegetables and placing white milk in the front of the display."

- Alanna Kolonics, Physical Education Teacher

To encourage healthy eating through the rest of the school day, the cafeteria puts milk, water, fruit and vegetables on display in the lunch line and ensures that all foods sold outside the meals program align with the USDA Smart Snacks in School standards. Parents are invited to attend sessions where members of the school wellness council provide information on the importance of helping the students make healthy choices.

The district's director of Child Nutrition Services is part of the wellness council and oversees the healthfulness of all foods being offered to every school in the district, including Wells Middle School. “As a result of the goals and objectives implemented with the help of the Healthy Schools Program, I see campus-wide change happening,” said Principal David Ferguson. He continued, “I see that staff are becoming more conscientious regarding their own health, and so are our students.”

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Support for Wells Middle School is generously provided by Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation.