For the first time, I was invited to be part of an expert panel (volunteer) for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG) in Washington DC at the beautiful Pew Charitable Trust building yesterday! The national advisors from AHG were of course present as were about 20 invited content experts from different areas of school health. It was like a family reunion for me! I walked into the room and was thrilled to see many familiar faces, including close colleagues. We were given a brief description of the day and self-selected into one of three groups:
- Physical Education, Physical Activity and Healthy Out of School Time
- Health Education
- School Meals and Competitive Foods
We reviewed Employee Wellness and School Health and Wellness Policies as a large group in the afternoon.
I self-selected into the Health Education group and had the great opportunity to work with some great friends and collegauges including: Kathy Wilbur, AHG Health Education content lead and facilitator of the group, Susan Telljohann, professor at University of Toledo in Ohio, Brian Weaver, AHG Healthy Schools Program VP, Howell Wechsler, AHG CEO, Annette Wilson, Coordinated School Health Administrator at Jackson-Madison County Schools in TN, Donna Nichols at Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) and Joanne Stevelos, AHG Director. Our charge was to review the current criteria with the Healthy Schools Program Framework and make suggestions for revisions around content and/or language.
I really enjoyed the process we went through yesterday. Our input felt heard, it was a safe environment to share and the National Advisors were able to share their experiences reading applications from schools applying for recognition each spring. Advisors shared observations, trends and best practices. Their knowledge and experience was helpful in framing the discussion on any suggested revisions we made.
Kudos to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for a great day yesterday! I was sincerely humbled to be part of an expert panel of people I admire and look up to within the field of school health. I was impressed with both who was in the room and the organization’s represented. Rest assured, the Alliance’s process for revising the Framework was facilitated well and any changes were thoroughly discussed by external partners.
Participating organizations (and you'll see some of these folks in the photos below) include:
Cairn Guidance, Inc (me!)
Pew Charitable Trust
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (observer)
University of Toledo, Health Education
Three school principals from Oregon, Georgia and Nebraska
Miami-Dade School District
School Nutrition Association
Local CSH Director, TN