Tips for School Staff
When it comes to building a healthy school culture, families have a valuable role to play.
4 Steps to Cultivate a Team of Supporters
Step 1: Cultivate - Build Your Team
- Let families and communities know about your wellness council. Invite them to join! Check out more resources for cultivating your team.
Step 2: Collaborate - Build Support for Your Cause
- Clearly communicate your school’s wellness vision to families and the community.
- Ask your community what they have to offer. Parents and community members may be able to offer expertise or hands-on support in a special topic, including:
- Fitness classes
- Cooking demonstrations for students, staff or families
- Stress management techniques
- Graphic design services to create a new wellness web page
- Public relations experience
- Social media expertise to help you get the word out
- Find out what families want by asking for their input
- How do they want to get involved?
- How do they want to receive information?
- What topics or activities are important to them?
- After you survey parents and family members, use that data! Prioritize top-rated responses and requests to increase participation throughout the school year.
For more resources on family participation, check out CDC’s Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health and Parents for Healthy Schools Promotion Kit.
Step 3: Invigorate - Build Excitement
- Post the district wellness policy on your school or district website for families and the community to see. Ensure contact information is included so others can reach out to get involved.
- Highlight successes regularly in newsletters or on your district’s wellness webpage (be sure you have a wellness webpage)!
- Use morning announcements to build excitement about healthy eating and physical activity among students and staff.
- Use the power of social media! Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
- Involve students as wellness committee members and ambassadors for wellness.
- View these videos on rewards, fundraising, and healthy celebrations to garner ideas and build excitement
- Connect with local community organizations, businesses, or hospitals to plan community events that promote health and wellness such as:
- Community fun run/walk event
- Staff wellness program supported by the local fitness club or hospital
- Nutrition or cooking classes for families
- Family cook-off featuring healthy recipes
Use the Alliance’s Communications Checklist as your guide! Spread the word with USDA’s Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit .
Step 4: Motivate - Build Momentum
- Continue to involve families and community members in decision-making processes throughout the year. This builds trust and support for your cause. Try the strategies below to build momentum throughout the year:
- Represent your school wellness committee at a school board, PTO or community meeting to introduce new parents and community members to your work
- Invite parents to guest blog on the district website
- Invite families to chair a wellness event or a healthy fundraiser
- Make your campus the heart of the community – a common space to gather, play, and learn!
- Work with your administration to incorporate a Joint Use Agreement
- Use your Local Wellness Policy to ensure families and the community have access to a safe space that promotes health and wellness activities and programs
- Check out the Healthier Generation Model Wellness Policy for Joint-Use Agreement language
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes!