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May 2016 eNews 

A group of 5th graders at Spaziano Elementary School in Providence experienced firsthand how persuasive student voices can lead to positive change in school cafeterias.
As part of a six-month nutrition education project led by the URI SNAP-Ed Program staff, 50 students at Spaziano completed environmental scans in their school cafeteria this past fall to learn about the types of fruits and vegetables currently served for school lunch, and barriers to eating them.  After group discussions and at-home interviews about family recipes, the students then worked in the classroom to develop their own recipes and conduct taste tests with their classmates.
Working with the URI staff and food service provider Sodexo, the fifth grade classes chose a final winning recipe from 40 submitted produce-based recipes to feature as a new school lunch menu item. On Spaziano Garlic Roasted Potatoes Day, students tasted the winning recipe during lunch and voted on whether this recipe should be incorporated into the regular meal program, with an overwhelming majority voting YES. Sodexo Providence has agreed to add Spaziano Potatoes to all elementary and secondary school lunch menus this spring.

As a result of this positive and exciting student-led learning experience, the URI SNAP-Ed Program team hopes to repeat the project in another Providence elementary school next year!



Breakfast for School Leaders 2016


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Crowne Plaza, Warwick


See you there!

Thank you, RI Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics!

We were so honored to receive the Rhode Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 24 Carrot Award for 2016, an award to "recognize individuals or organizations for their distinctive contributions to the fields of dietetics, public health, or health promotion." 

On hand to accept the award were RIHSC steering committee members Kimberly Clark and Paula Paolino, Communications Coordinator Kelly Swanson, Wellness Coordinator Karin Wetherill, and co-chair Jane Vergnani. 

Would you like a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to serve as a community member (and fabulous resource) on your district wellness committee? Do you need a nutrition expert for a school or community event?  Contact RIAND at!

Show the Love for Physical Education in Schools!

Do you love PE?  So do these kids from Washington Oak Elementary in Coventry! From a healthy heart to an active mind, physical education supports the whole student.  PE has positive impacts on kids' physical, mental, and emotional health- and teaches them about the overall value of making healthy choices, now and into adulthood. 

Help RI make a splash on the map! As part of the nationwide campaign to "show the love" for PE in schools, Voices for Healthy Kids has started a photo map to show how many people across the country love PE.

As people share their pictures, the map will change colors. It’s really easy:

1) Print an “I heart PE” sign (or make your own!)
2) Take a picture of yourself or others holding the sign.
3) Click on your state to share your photo.


Transforming Everyday Places into Everyday PLAYces!!

Science and common sense agree: Kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. But across the U.S.— especially in cities—too many children miss out on the chance to play because of where they live, where they come from or how much their families earn. Play is just too important to a healthy childhood for any kid to be left out.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is collaborating with KaBoom! to help cities create spaces and opportunities for kids to play as they grow. The Play Everywhere Challenge is a $1 million, national competition that will award innovative, replicable ideas that make play easy, available and fun for kids and families.

Submit your creative solution to make play a way of life in everyday and unexpected places—sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, open streets and beyond. Learn more

Best Practice Alert!

With the end of the school year upon us, many school committees will be looking for a final report from district wellness committees on their progress and activities from the current school year AND goals for next year. Westerly used the RIHSC Wellness Checklist for Schools to assess their progress and put together a terrific end-of-year report, a strong model for policy monitoring and communication!
RI Healthy Schools Coalition connects the RI school community,
providing direct support for district school wellness work to create
and sustain healthy school environments for all children.
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