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Growing Healthy Schools Month School-Based Activities

Friday, September 21, 2018

Growing Healthy Schools Month celebrates the health of students in public schools throughout the District. During this annual celebration, public schools are encouraged to coordinate activities aimed at engaging students with topics concerning nutrition, the environment, and being active. We encourage schools to leverage Growing Healthy Schools Month to institutionalize healthy school initiatives throughout the school year.

Below is a list of school-based activities that are being promoted and supported by OSSE during Growing Healthy Schools Month:

Week 1: Recycle Right! Week

  • Activities and Contests
  • Recycle Right! Competition: To celebrate Growing Healthy Schools Month in October 2018, the DC Department of General Services (DGS) invites all DC schools to participate in the DC Recycle Right! Competition. Inspired by the Green Schools Alliance's Green Cup Challenge, the competition is designed to reward schools for recycling correct, not for recycling more, by having students compete as they encourage correct recycling behavior in classrooms. Register for the event.
  • DCPS Recycles! Honor Roll Self-Assessment: Complete this recycling self-assessment with students in your school. Download a copy to use.
  • Events
  • Design DC presentation titled: Garden Classrooms; Creating Access to a Healthier Future: DC Public Schools and OSSE are creating outdoor learning environments for 21st century schools. School gardens are a key component reflecting both the school community and surrounding community. These spaces ensure all students, including those with special needs, have opportunities to learn outdoors and connect with nature. See more information and register.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, 2:15-3:45 p.m.

Week 2: Get Outside! Week

  • Activities and Contests
  • Observing the Outdoor Space: Work with students to complete this fun activity focused around their outdoor space. Download a copy from the attachments at the bottom of the page to use in your school.
  • The Gilda Allen Best School Garden Award: DC is home to 134 schools with gardens but which is the best? Students are challenged to write a short essay answering the question: “Why is your school garden the best school garden in the District?” Register for the contest. See past winners and read their essays.
  • Events
  • Regional School Garden Summit (with optional garden and farm field trips on both Oct. 12 and 14): The goal of the summit is to nurture the emerging tri-state network of nonprofits, schools, and government agencies interested in capacity and network building around school gardens by providing a space to learn, share best practices and make new connections. This year's summit focuses on making connections between social justice and school garden work. See more information and register.
  • Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Week 3: Love your Lunch! Week - Celebrating School Lunch by Reducing Waste

  • Activities and Contests
  • Name a Local Menu Item Contest: To engage students and increase participation at lunch, OSSE presents the Name a Local Menu Item Contest! Schools will submit a unique name for a local menu item featured on their October menu. One entry per school will be accepted; however, schools are encouraged to have their own school-wide contest and to submit the winner to the OSSE contest. See more information and register. For ideas, schools can look at the Smarter Lunchrooms “Creative, Fun, and Descriptive Names” page here.
  • Ways to reduce waste in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP): The Department of General Services (DGS) has different resources schools can utilize to reduce waste in the cafeteria and school as a whole.  Resources include a Cafeteria Waste Audit, the DC Reduce First! Challenge-Lunch edition, DC Reduce First!-Plastic edition, and DC Reduce First!-Paper edition. See resources from the DGS.
  • Events
  • DC Farm to School Network Gathering on the K Street Farm: This is an informal gathering of Farm to School Stakeholders in DC organized by DC Greens (National Farm to School Network Core Partner). See more information.
  • Thursday, Oct. 18

Week 4: Get Active! Week

  • Activities and Contests
  • Brain Boost Award: Brain boosters are activities that get students moving during the school day. Entries can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length. Silliness and creativity are encouraged. Submit a video or a description of a classroom brain boost/break activity to be considered for the Growing Healthy School's Month Classroom Brain Boost Award here.
  • Events
  • Trellis Food Justice Workshop: Hosted by DC Greens, this event is for K-12 teachers or administrators looking to incorporate food justice into their existing curriculum. This workshop provides an overview of food justice and curricular resources. Presenters will model activities that can be used to educate students and staff. Past presenters include The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, MD and Shelburne Farms, VT. See more information and register.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25

Related Content: Growing Healthy Schools Month