Committee celebrates healthy choices

Friday, April 2, 2004
Nevada citizens, members of the School Health Advisory Committee, use the last meeting of this school year to assess this year's performance and plan for next year. Nancy Malcom/ Daily Mail

By Nancy Malcom

Wednesday evening the Nevada R-5 School Health Advisory Committee held its last meeting of the 2003-'04 school year in the high school library.

Denise Nelson, R-5 Health Services manager and leader of SHACm provided sandwiches, tea and a cake to show her appreciation of the committee members' help throughout the year.

Through a review of the year's activities, it was determined that the majority of programs implemented by the R-5 health services have been successful; producing valuable results. Nelson said she feels some of that success is due to the citizens of Nevada who participate as members of SHAC.

The committee serves as an advisory group, providing input about aspects of the school health program directly to the health services manager. Members include parents and other individuals interested in the health of the students of the Nevada community.

In scheduled meetings, committee members provide feedback and suggestions to assist the school with the promotion of health programs for students and employees.

Nelson pointed out that research indicates healthy, physically active children, are more likely to be academically motivated, alert and successful in school and are more likely to establish habits that will foster good health throughout life.

The link between healthy students and good academic achievement has always been a primary concern of the citizens of Vernon County and its schools. The Vernon County Youth Task Force was formed in 1994 with these goals in mind, and served all the school districts in the county.

Over time, due to funding allocations, it became more feasible for each school district to have its own SHAC group to address the health needs and concerns of its students.

After reviewing this year's programs, the committee discussed school health concerns to address next year.

Some of the programs supported by this committee for the upcoming 2004-2005 school year include: The Wellness Fair for staff and teachers; the School Health Index assessment; The Great American Smokeout; the tobacco-free school district policy recently adopted by the Nevada R-5 Board; the School Athletic Program physicals; and the Food Power Nutrition Program.

For more information, contact Denise Nelson, health services manager at (417) 448-2028.

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