Academic Achievement Depends upon Wellness

Article excerpt

The Buffalo Public Schools health and wellness policy was passed by the Board of Education more than a year ago. This was a long- fought-for acknowledgement of the district's weaknesses regarding health and wellness and its failure to comply with state regulations for physical and health education.The policy signified a commitment to students, parents, staff and the community that the board would address issues such as nutrition, physical activity, social and emotional well-being and safety in a comprehensive way.Critics of this initiative suggest that healthy education and physical activity fall under the purview of parents. They suggest that the school's sole responsibility is to teach children how to read, write and do math. Perhaps those with this perspective have forgotten their school experiences and the circumstances that best facilitated their learning.

The bottom line is that healthy and active kids learn better and it is the responsibility of not only parents but also the schools, businesses, health care providers - the entire community.A plethora of research supports the link between student health and academic outcomes. Sufficient physical activity and health education helps prevent many major chronic diseases. Kids who are more active have lower smoking rates and active girls take fewer sexual risks and have lower pregnancy rates. Active and healthy kids do better in school, better on tests and are mentally and psychologically healthier. …