The Whole Child

July 18th, 2014 by Live Well Omaha Kids

The work being done in schools across our State supported by our friends at the Nebraska Department of Education is remarkable and a huge thanks goes out to the many partners across the state that works together to address the health need of students.

We were thrilled to learn NE Loves Public Schools’ documentary “The Whole Child” was utilized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) earlier this month during briefings on Capitol Hill! The briefings were in connection with hearings held by the Student Health Advocacy Coalition (SHAC) around connecting learning and health and addressing the needs of the total student beyond their cognitive needs. This video highlighted the tremendous work going on in Nebraska’s schools.

Congratulations to all involved! Below is a letter we received from the Department of Education we wanted to share:

Dear Healthy School Advocates:

I want to thank all of you for the work you have done and continue to do to address the needs of the whole child-cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally. Many of you have participated in Nebraska Department of Education’s Coordinated School Health Initiative, which entered its 5th year in March, and are working diligently in some capacity to address the health needs of students and school personnel. Others of you are working on the community and state level advocating and seeking support and resources for schools to effectively address the health needs of students. And all of you have your own specific stories to tell and share as you continue to address the needs of the whole child on a daily basis. This e-mail is to inform you of the recognition Nebraska public schools has received nationally in addressing the “whole child” through a coordinated school health framework.

In late June I was approached by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) seeking permission to utilize “The Whole Child” video—a video depicting stories from 4 NE schools, all who have adopted a coordinated school health approach. This video demonstrates how these schools address the physical, social, and emotional health of children and adolescents and how what they have implemented has enhanced their students ability to learn and improve academic achievement. This 32 minute video was created and produced by NE Loves Our Public Schools, with assistance from NDE, and was released for statewide viewing via NETV on April 17 and 20, 2014. “The Whole Child” video can be viewed at The “Whole Child Video” was utilized by CDC for their briefings on Capitol Hill-for the House on July 9th and the Senate on July 10th-in connection with hearings held by the Student Health Advocacy Coalition (SHAC) around connecting learning and health and seeking funding for schools as they strive to address the needs of the total student which goes beyond their cognitive needs. “The Whole Child” video was used to demonstrate, on the school level, how health, physical education/activity, nutrition, health services/school nurses, social-emotional learning, and family and community engagement can enhance a students’ ability to learn and impact academic achievement. Hearings on both the House and Senate side had great attendance and CDC stated the video showcasing NE schools was more effective than any testimony they could have provided. It is a powerful tool to demonstrate the wonderful things you folks do on a daily basis to take care of the children entrusted in your care.

While this film depicts only a few schools in NE, we know there are numerous others out there across NE who have created healthy and supportive systems and environments to address their students’ diverse needs. We wish we were able to capture all your stories, but that would have been impossible to put on film. Please feel free to share this with others you know who are doing great things and please feel free to share with me anything you and your district may be implementing to address the needs of the whole child.

So I want to shout out THANK YOU to each and every one of you for working so hard and diligently to provide all our NE children with the tools they need to be successful in school and in life. Your efforts and hard work continue to provide a secure, safe and healthy setting for all children that enter your doors. You are indeed appreciated!!

With Sincere Gratitude–Julane

Julane Hill

Coordinated School Health Director

Nebraska Department of Education

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