Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) hosted wellness training for staff from six Cobb County schools including Smitha Middle School, Russell Elementary, Smyrna Elementary, Floyd Middle School, Cheatham Hill Elementary, and Mableton Elementary. These six schools receive funding from CDPH through the Healthcare Georgia Foundation Grant to enact wellness-related activities. Each school utilizes the Alliance for Healthier Generation’s tools to track and monitor their wellness goals. Activities include promoting wellness to faculty and students, enacting and enforcing school health policies, providing health education, ensuring school’s food and beverages meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Smart Snacks in Schools’ standards, and ensuring physical education and/or activity are available.

The training was conducted by Lee Ann Else of HealthMPowers, who will continue to work closely with CDPH. Each school was represented by one or two faculty members from their respective wellness council. In the training, schools were able to network and share their successes and barriers. All schools have been hugely successful in completing many of their goals and changing their culture and environment. Staff also examined the relationship between health and education outcomes, learned about Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change and how to apply PSE to their wellness efforts, and learned how to re-assess their school’s needs using the School Health Index. Lee Ann led the staff through fun activities they can perform with their students, and she walked the group through their online Alliance tool.

Additionally, staff learned about awards and accolades that are obtainable for their schools such as the Georgia SHAPE Honor Roll and the Let’s Move Active Schools Award. CDPH and HealthMPowers will be providing each school hands-on support throughout the school year. Each school will work towards accomplishing their goals and applying for national-level recognition.