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3 Tips from a Principal

Mickey Komins is a principal at Anne Frank Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He and his district began working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program four years ago and received the Bronze National Recognition Award in 2011 and 2013.

Watch, read and share Anne Frank Elementary’s Full Story

Here are 3 things he has learned:

1.    Consistency is key

It is important to have a consistent message—both in school and out of school—when trying to teach kids to adopt healthier behaviors.

That’s why Principal Komins provides a healthy alternative (and a call home to parents) when Anne Frank students come to school with sugary drinks, chips, or candy. At home, he wants parents to encourage the healthy habits he’s building in school so that kids learn to make healthy choices in any environment.

2.    Practice what you preach

Instructing students on ways to live healthier is important, but demonstrating healthy practices in your own life sets a real example for students to follow.

Principal Komins, an athlete himself, encourages his two sons to help him stay active outside of the school walls. On campus, he has created a culture around movement offering regular physical activity opportunities like yoga and kickboxing to keep student and teachers moving daily. He even organized a 5K color run, attracting 360 participants in the community.

3.    Look at the big picture

Although it may not always seem relevant to success, prioritizing student health has ripple effects on the student well-being and potential for achievement.

Schools are faced with many challenges—achieving high test scores, developing kids’ social skills, fostering a culture of learning—and perhaps most importantly, building healthy minds and bodies. Make sure that parents, teachers, and administrators understand the connection between healthy bodies and students’ ability to perform at their best.

Is your school enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program? Find out.

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