“Our approach with WSCC, in line with its model, is to explore and celebrate health and wellness in all its forms, from nutritional and physical health, to self-esteem, kindness, character education, collaboration, and inclusion,” said Velez-Gimbel. “With the support of Principal Gluck, our entire staff, and our community partners, we have done a great job doing just that.”
As the school enters the second year of the planned four-year program, it has grand plans. Among them:
- Implementation of an after-school fitness program that includes a certified Generation/Pound Pro instructor Lisa Pepper (below), yoga instruction with Linda Higley, and collaboration with local gyms
- Improvements to the school’s fitness room for students and staff including exercise posters, yoga mats, floor mats for machines, and more
- Campaign to reduce the amount of fruit wasted during lunch school-wide collaboration on a shared healthy recipes document
- Hosting motivational, health-based speakers, including a presentation by Joetta Clark Diggs scheduled for Oct. 22
- Annual Seminole staff day to foster positive relationships and fun at Beachwood Community Center, which has already been approved by Beachwood Mayor Ronald Roma in partnership with WSCC as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign
The NJDOH introduced WSCC with the hope of transforming the New Jersey public school landscape by directing resources to build and sustain healthy schools for all students. The WSCC model is based on the following principles: healthy children learn better; health and academic achievement are inextricably intertwined; schools are an ideal venue for chronic disease prevention; administrative and Board of Education support is critical for creating a culture of health in schools; and a commitment to systems change is required to sustain healthy schools.
“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community program and to witness its impact here at Intermediate South,” said Principal Paul Gluck. “School climate, culture, and health are all interrelated, and every day through WSCC our team is working to foster a healthy, fun, and inclusive environment for our students, our families, and each other. It’s clearly having a positive effect.”
Intermediate South will be seeking parents and community volunteers to help support its endeavors related to WSCC, and anyone interested in being a part of this initiative can contact Betty Velez-Gimbel at firstname.lastname@example.org.