At Lukeville Elementary in Brusly, students are learning how to read, write, solve math problems and sharpen their critical thinking skills. In addition to these core subjects, administrators and staff are leveraging their partnership with Well-Ahead Louisiana to ensure students learn important life lessons about health and well-being that go way beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Lukeville Principal Kelley Stein and Physical Education Teacher Stephanie Bourque have long recognized that a healthy school environment encourages students to develop and maintain healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Kelley and Stephanie have worked together to promote student and employee wellness in West Baton Rouge Parish for more than five years.
From their experience, the dynamic duo knew that if they were going to be successful in changing the school’s health culture, they had to have buy-in from administrators and staff. “It was important that our staff be involved because we serve as models for our kids to look up to,” Stephanie said. “It was up to us to set a good example.”
That’s why the two began the School Wellness Committee, a group of teachers and administrators dedicated to leading health-related initiatives that meet the unique needs of their students and fellow staff. At Lukeville Elementary, the School Wellness Committee promotes wellness initiatives such as water intake contests and organizes programs like Wellness Wednesday. The Committee promotes the vision and goals for a healthy school to parents, students and the community. In collaboration with the district-level advisory council, the Committee also evaluates efforts and assesses progress.
One of the School Wellness Committee’s first projects was the employee wellness program. After school each Wednesday, teachers and staff participate in classes conducted by Corelogix Fitness, a local West Baton Rouge fitness company. By offering a wide array of fun exercise classes and nutrition courses, Corelogix owner and instructor Allison Crochet quickly got the Lukeville team motivated and “Wellness Wednesdays” gained in popularity. Then it was full steam ahead for their employee wellness program.
Well-Ahead Louisiana helped connect the school’s Wellness Committee with community partners and resources. Community partnerships with Corelogix and the LSU AgCenter, along with assistance from Eat Move Grow and efforts from the parent-teacher association, led not only to the success of Wellness Wednesdays, but also to the installation of water filling stations on campus, the development of a school garden, and every student receiving a water bottle to encourage water drinking throughout the day.
Along with all the great health benefits and opportunities, the School Wellness Committee created a great sense of community among teachers and staff. Whether it’s encouraging continued participation in exercise classes or motivating a colleague to accomplish their health goals, every member of the team feels a collective responsibility to support one another.
If you’re ready to improve the health of teachers and students, consider launching a School Wellness Committee! Reach out to Well-Ahead Louisiana and we’ll help you get started! Click here to learn more.