Anita Schroeder, M.Ed.
Principal, Park Elementary School
By integrating physical activity and nutrition education into existing school programs wherever possible, Principal Anita Schroeder has been able to achieve impressive gains in school wellness. Park Elementary students participate in a program called “MicroSociety” that teaches budgeting, economics and organizational skills through a student-run school store. Schroeder added a wellness component to the program by using two district wellness grants to purchase a Wii Fit system and to stock the student store with healthy snack foods. Students now use their MicroSociety “dollars” to purchase healthy snacks and buy time on the Wii Fit system.
To achieve her goal of making Park Elementary a healthier school, Schroeder makes sure there are a myriad of opportunities for students and staff to get active. In addition to participating in a 50-minute physical education class at least three days per week, students can join a walking club that walks before school (weather permitting) and participate in community races and jog-a-thons, as well as school-sponsored track-and-field days. Based on the results of their school employee wellness survey, Park Elementary created innovative twice-weekly staff wellness programs that include options like a belly dancing class, a walking club and stress reduction workshops. Staff also has access to the Wii Fit system. A majority of staff now participates in some type of wellness activity, and the program is considered a model for other schools in the district.
To bring the message of healthy eating and active living to the entire school community, Schroeder is working with Park’s PTA to provide healthier alternatives for fundraiser activities and class celebrations. In conjunction with the district’s Child Nutrition Department, she has made changes to the school cafeteria, bringing them in line with Healthy Schools Program guidelines and is also eliminating vending machines for students.
For encouraging her school community to make the kinds of healthy changes that lead to healthier futures, Anita Schroeder is a deserving recipient of the Healthy Schools Program Champion Award.
This school representative is being honored with the Healthy Schools Program Champion Award for her successes in engaging, motivating and leading others to take steps toward implementing sustainable healthy programs and policies. View all 2008-09 Champions