The union supports a number of other health and wellness programs in New York City schools.
Schools should be places where healthy eating and regular exercise are promoted. The role of schools in shaping these positive behaviors is especially important as an obesity epidemic sweeps the nation—31 percent of U.S. school-age children are over-weight or obese. In New York City, the problem is even more serious—39 percent of school-aged children in the city are overweight or obese. Fundraising that involves students and their parents is a common way for schools to bring in needed funds. Unfortunately, these fundraising drives often involve selling foods high in fat, sugar, salt and calories — creating a mixed message in schools trying to teach positive lifestyle habits. School Wellness Councils can ensure school communities work towards meeting the DOE Wellness Policy, including healthier fundraising options that are fun, healthy, and active for students, families, and staff.
Awarded by UFT-partner the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the annual Excellence in School Wellness Award recognize city public elementary schools for making strides in creating healthy school environments. Schools are awarded different levels based upon meeting a number of criteria in four different categories: Physical Education, Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Wellness Coordination. For more information on this program, email ESWA@health.nyc.gov.