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Back-to-School 2016 eNews 

Welcome to a new school year!

After taking July off from eNews, we are back with a brand new logo, a brand new website ( and a brand new school year!  

As we begin the 2016-2017 school year and prepare for the upcoming Breakfast for School Leaders 2016 (more on that below), we have gathered a few newsworthy items that may help you kick off the year right and keep you informed about recent developments in school wellness.

Check out our new and improved website and let us know your thoughts and suggestions!

General registration is now OPEN!


Breakfast for School Leaders 2016


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
7:00 - 9:30am
Crowne Plaza, Warwick

There are still spots for reserved tables of ten for school districts.  If your district is interested in purchasing a full table to guarantee seating together, contact Kelly Swanson at

Opportunities for sponsorship at various levels (including exhibitor tables) are still available!  We are always grateful to our wonderful partner organizations for their support in making this annual event and our work possible. Contact Karin Wetherill at for more information.


More information and REGISTER HERE

NEW School Wellness Policy Requirements -
RI Recess Law & USDA Final Rule

Governor Gina Raimondo signed a Recess Bill into law in June that requires elementary schools, grades K-6, to schedule at least 20 consecutive minutes of recess each school day and supports free-play recess as an essential part of a school day.

All RI local wellness policies should be updated to include a reference to the requirements of this recess law.  

The final rule for local school wellness policy implementation under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was released in July.  (And yes, it took over six years for the federal government to wrangle with the details.)  

The good news is that federal regulations now support Rhode Island’s school wellness laws and regulations and focus more attention on implementation, monitoring, evaluation and transparency. Kudos to our progressive school wellness advocates and state leaders for advancing healthful policies for RI schools ahead of the nation!!

But be aware of a few NEW provisions from the Final Rule that need to be included in wellness policies: 
  • limitation of food/beverage marketing to ONLY products that meet nutrition standards
  • inclusion of nutrition standards for foods shared and offered to students (classroom parties, snacks, incentives, rewards)
  • requirement to publicly report on compliance and progress, at least every three years 
Print a copy of the Minimum Local School Wellness Policy Requirements from the RIHSC website Resource page or, better yet, attend the RIHSC Breakfast for School Leaders (details above) to learn more and hear how schools can effectively implement these policies and healthy practices. 


Let’s Move! Active Schools and Marathon Kids are on the hunt for inspirational Coaches like you to take kids on a 104.8-mile journey. They’ll set goals, track their miles, learn how to fuel their bodies. They’ll earn exclusive Nike rewards. They’ll watch you - their role models - choose healthy behaviors. And those lessons will stay with them for life.

Now through Sept. 15, you can apply for a grant to bring Marathon Kids to your school community this year and give your students even more opportunities to be active before, during or after school. They’ve got the program, exclusive Nike rewards and support ready. They even have the funding covered. They just need you: the Coach. More information and application instructions HERE.

Need funds to start a school garden? Create a physical fitness area? Improve a school playground?

The Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Fall 2016 Toolbox for Education, which supports projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and build stronger community spirit. One-year grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to projects with the potential to have a permanent impact on a school community, such as facility enhancement (indoor or outdoor) or landscaping/clean-up projects.

In addition,Toolbox grants can be used as part of a large-scale project like a playground, as long as the grant will be used to complete a phase of the project that can be completed within twelve months of the award. Check out eligible SAMPLE PROJECTS here, then click the How To Apply tab to get started! 

Save the Date!

Saturday, October 15, 2016
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
URI Kingston Campus

This conference connects the local school garden community with expertise from URI faculty, URI Extension staff and volunteers, registered landscape architects and community members. There's something for everyone! With options for beginning or experienced school gardeners, this dynamic conference will help you be successful this school year. 

Attendees will gain practical knowledge about growing food crops and composting with food safety in mind during the school year, and will have a choice to venture outside for in-garden learning or stay back and learn how to design your school garden from scratch. This full-day professional development opportunity is suitable for everyone involved with school gardens: formal and informal educators, school administrators, parents and community leaders.

Stay tuned for registration information from URI Extension Outreach Center.


Start the School Year Right with
AFHK webinars!

Wellness Wednesday: Walking and Running Initiatives in Schools
Wednesday, September 14; 4:00-4:30 PM (ET)

Learn how your school can implement walking and biking initiatives in school and as active transportation options. 
Get Your Game On: Six Steps to Building a Healthy School
Tuesday, September 27; 4:00-5:00 PM (ET)

It's the beginning of a new school year, which means it's time to get your Game On! Action for Healthy Kids' Game On program is a no-cost, step-by-step online guide that provides all the information and resources you need to build a healthy school. Join this webinar to learn about how to use Game On to build a strong school wellness program this year. School staff, parents, health professionals and other community members are encouraged to attend!
Smart Ideas to Implement Smart Snacks in Schools
Wednesday, September 28; 2:00-3:00 PM (ET)

Now is the time to look at the school food environment. Join Action for Healthy Kids and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in this timely and informative webinar to learn about the Final Rule about Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School (Smart Snacks) and putting these new requirements in action.
Navigating the Action for Healthy Kids School Health Portal
Tuesday, October 4; 4:00-5:00 PM (ET)

School staff…WE HEARD YOU!  For years, school staff have been asking for a one-stop shop for school health, and now, Action for Healthy Kids made one available! Designed using your feedback, you can apply for grants, form your school health team, complete a school health assessment, develop and track your action plan, plan volunteer events and much more. Let us show you around your portal!
Wellness Wednesday: Energize Employee Wellness in Your School
Wednesday, October 12; 4:00-4:30 PM (ET)

Healthy schools need healthy role models! When students see staff practicing what they preach, they are more likely to want to practice those healthy behaviors themselves. It's important for all school staff, whether or not they are members of the school health team, to practice healthy role modeling to support and encourage healthy habits among students. Join Action for Healthy Kids’ Wellness Wednesday webinar on employee wellness to learn how to encourage staff to keep wellness at the forefront!
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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