Health & Wellness at WTS

BY Laura Edelman

West Tisbury School

Project Description
The funds from this grant will be used to purchase classroom materials for the new Health and Wellness class at the West Tisbury School. This year WT school is implementing health and wellness classes for all grades k-8 in order to provide our students with the skills and knowledge so they can make healthy choices over their lifetimes. These resources will support the curriculum we are using called the Michigan Model for Health. It is a nationally-recognized comprehensive health education curriculum.

The Michigan Model for Health is a comprehensive, skills-based health education curriculum that shares our goal of helping young people live happier and healthier lives.

This nationally recognized curriculum is research based, and aligned to standards. This means teachers who follow the easy-to-use, sequential lesson plans are meeting their instructional requirements, while at the same time building the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in school and in life.

Using a building-block approach to health education, the Michigan Model for Health addresses the major youth health risk behaviors at every grade level, with age-appropriate instructional activities.

Having a Health & Wellness program at the West Tisbury School was part of our school plan for this year.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
This project will be evaluated by student participation and engagement. The materials I would like to order support my curriculum.
I have ordered several posters so students can have visual reminders of the importance of eating healthy. I have ordered stress thumb balls with student specific health questions, posters about the importance of sleep, and a CD player for the audio curriculum. These materials will help support a new curriculum and will help students be more successful in the classroom and beyond.

The curriculum I am using focuses on the following topics:
Social and Emotional Health
Nutrition and Physical Activity
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs
Personal Health and Wellness
HIV Education
Violence prevention and bullying

Our success will be gauged by student behavior and success through the years.

Benefit to the students and the school
This new Health and Wellness course will benefit ALL students at West Tisbury School. Students will have better interpersonal communication skills, social emotional skills and self-management skills. We hope students will have stronger drug refusal skills, and more knowledge of the benefits of physical activity and good nutrition.

According to a Journal of School Health study, results showed that students who received the Michigan Model for Health curriculum showed significant, positive changes compared to a randomized control group of students who did not receive the program. Specifically, students who received the Michigan Model for Health had:

better interpersonal communication skills, social emotional skills, and self-management skills;
improved pro-safety attitudes;
stronger drug and tobacco refusal skills;
less reported alcohol and tobacco use in the past 30 days; and
enhanced knowledge and skills in physical activity and nutrition

Results from approximately 800 students who received instruction in both Grades Four and Five showed the Michigan Model for Health students had better health knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavioral intentions in several content areas:

knowledge about drugs
social-emotional skills
interpersonal communication skills
self-management skills
physical activity skills
refusal skills: alcohol use
refusal skills: cigarette use
attitudes against violence/bullying
attitudes against cigarette use
attitudes against alcohol use
intentions to use alcohol
intentions to smoke cigarettes

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
We will use the materials ASAP.