The increasing rates of obesity among youth threaten to jeopardize their future health and productivity. Academic success will become more and more difficult for students to attain as lifestyle choices diminish a child’s ability to learn. Will today’s students be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? Do over-nourished and malnourished children face similar adversity?
Studies have shown undernourished children do not perform as well on standardized tests, have difficulty concentrating and may miss more school. Physical activity is consistently related to higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and stress- both of which have been associated with better academic performance. The staff of Omaha Public Schools is committed to providing an environment in which students can learn about healthy food choices and the benefits of physical activity.
In the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the U.S. Congress established a new requirement for all local agencies with a federally funded National School Lunch Program. All local agencies are required to develop and implement wellness policies by the start of the 2006-7 school year. In response to this requirement, the Omaha Public Schools convened a group of professionals representing a variety of organizations, i.e. health, nutrition, education, community and industry to develop a wellness policy. A coordinated effort by the entire community is necessary to promote a healthy environment for children, which includes knowledge of nutrition, the promotion of physical activity and the availability of healthful food choices during and after school.
Our Wellness Policy and Practices & Procedures supports the following Educational Aims:
1. High Student Achievement
2. Safe and Secure Learning Environment