Peers encouraging peers to live healthier lives

September 28th, 2015 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Written by Shelby Watson, Program Assistant, Building Health Futures

Homecoming7Building Healthy Futures is contributing to childhood obesity prevention efforts by supporting a peer-led, youth-driven committee at Northwest High School for the second year. The mission of Building Healthy Futures is to improve health for the community’s under-served children and youth through thoughtful collaboration and advocacy. The organization facilitates and funds eight School-Based Health Centers, the Child Oral Health Collaborative, and a new Child Vision Collaborative. All initiatives align with the goals of the Omaha Public School District by striving to improve academic outcomes through the understanding that healthier children learn better.

Homecoming5Students at Northwest High School are encouraging their peers to live healthier lives through the Healthy Husky Committee formed within the student council. This committee is led by the Health and Wellness Coordinator, Nicole Carrillo, who is a senior at Northwest High School. The student council maintains a school-wide presence by hosting and participating in a variety of school activities. The objective of the Healthy Husky Committee is to ensure that school activities are beneficial for students’ health and to promote healthful behavior when applicable. The goal for this year is to create a positive culture of health that is sustainable and well-understood by the student body.

Homecoming3Recently, Northwest High School had their homecoming celebration. To promote healthful behavior, the student council passed out athletic water bottles with a Husky paw print instead of throwing out candy. This is one example of the changes that the Healthy Husky Committee saw as necessary in order to promote better health. Other anticipated activities include brief HuskyVision segments on physical activity, nutrition, and body image that will be shown to the entire student body and encouraging the student body to participate in physical activity during school-wide events, such as relays and yoga. The Healthy Husky Committee also hopes to provide opportunities for students and the community to participate in halftime entertainment during sporting events and possibly a Color Run in the spring.

The principal at Northwest High School, Mr. Thomas Lee, is striving to meet the school’s goals of 100% attendance rates, 100% graduation rate, and 100% healthy Huskies. Mr. Lee stated that, “Northwest is focused on promoting a healthy environment by bringing in healthy vending machines and by exposing students to healthy habits through field trips, presentations, and guest speakers throughout the school year. The Healthy Husky Committee is empowering their peers to take on leadership for a more positive and healthy environment at Northwest and the community. As the Principal at Northwest, I am very proud of our Healthy Husky Committee and all of our students and staff who are making better choices about their health and wellness.” Through the obesity prevention efforts of the Healthy Husky Committee and support from administration, improving the health of students and the community has become a priority at Northwest High School.

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