School Health Councils (SHCs) are a collaborative and creative team effort. To truly be effective, they require the cooperation of many different people in the school and from the community who have a common mission to produce positive long-lasting change. Our focus is to improve nutrition and increase physical activity at the schools.
Around the tables here at the Bradley Elementary School and Thurgood Marshall School in Asbury Park, we are having our third SHC meeting. We have classroom teachers and a Physical Education teacher, administrators, a school RN, along with representatives from the YMCA, the Meridian Healthcare community and the County Health Department. Other members include Master Gardeners, Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell, the parent liaison, food services and even school security.
One really exciting collaboration I am planning is to encourage members of the other School Health Councils to come and help me motivate and encourage our two newest SHCs in Asbury Park. The success at the Farmingdale Elementry and Belmar schools should be shared! I have asked the wonderful parent volunteer who coordinates the garden plan at Farmingdale to join us to offer her ideas, support and resources. Starting this type of effort from scratch is never easy but it helps to hear from those who have seen the fruit of the SHC model in their school and community! Neighbors and communities helping other communities: there is no better collaboration in my view!
To find out more about what we are doing, contact Lisa Lee at Lisa.Lee@co.monmouth.nj.us or 732-431-7456.