Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools and Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools and Healthy Lifestyles

“Advocates for Health in Action” was created for Wake County seven years ago as part of an initiative out of WakeMed. The program was focused around healthy food and active lifestyles, with the goal that the word “obesity” would not be in our vocabulary. Since then, AHA has been working to promote collaborative efforts such as community gardens with our “Dig In” Annual Conference;  encouraging more walking and biking to schools; working with the Safe Routes to School programs; and facilitating more farmer markets to take food stamps. The overarching concept is that this is not about what we are, as much as what we can become. Healthy life styles can be chosen because they are easy, fun and enjoyable.

For several years now, AHA has worked with the Wake County Public School Systems to honor those for their work in creating healthy active schools.  As board chair this year, I had a chance to attend the fantastic award ceremony. WCPSS Board Chair Christine Kushner handed out the awards with such a high level of excitement in the room with school representatives getting three minutes to talk about what they had done to promote their health conscious initiatives.  The creative ideas were astonishing!

One school had students e-mail pictures to show healthy activities they were doing off campus that were then posted at school. Another had a marathon where for 26 days; students spent 20 minutes exercising, 20 minutes reading and 20 minutes eating the right food. If they did all that, then they got the “Marathon Award.” Other schools had walking programs and basketball before class, zumba and yoga classes during and after school.  Walk to school Wednesday were popular with some schools. However, the most exciting part was seeing the students, teachers, coaches, principals and parents all having fun.

Although seeing the ceremony was encouraging, there is much work to be done. We can do more to bring local and healthy food into our school lunch and breakfast programs.  We can do more to encourage safe walking and biking to school. We can increase school recreational facilities for students and the community. In many ways, we have only begun to rethink how to create environments for healthy kids, healthy schools and healthy lifestyles. However, the below individuals prove that we are on the right track.

2014 Award Winners:Brains and Bodies 1


  • Underwood Elementary


  • Brier Creek Elementary
  • Davis Drive Elementary
  • Highcroft Elementary
  • Hunter Elementary
  • Joyner Elementary


  • Brentwood Elementary
  • Lead Mine Elementary
  • Martin Middle School
  • Oak Grove Elementary

2014 Wellness Star Winners

  • Davis Drive Elementary
  • Hunter Elementary
  • Laurel Park Elementary
  • Martin Middle School
  • Olive Chapel Elementary
  • Wake Forest Elementary