Chesterfield County Public Schools recently received the 2017 Greater Richmond Fit4Kids Trailblazer Award. The school division was selected because of the adoption of a comprehensive School Board wellness policy that includes physical, psychological and social-emotional well-being.
“Medical research has linked physical activity to immediate and long-term benefits associated with healthy lifestyles and academic performance,” Bermuda District School Board representative Carrie Coyner said. “By building a culture that is supportive of students’ social, emotional and physical well-being, Chesterfield County Public Schools is equipping students with the tools and strategies necessary to be healthy, successful and engaged students.”
Throughout the past three years, the school division has engaged dozens of community members to create a comprehensive wellness plan. Chesterfield County Public Schools has focused on integrating classroom-based wellness activities since 2014. A Wellness Council, comprised of 125 regional stakeholders, provided recommendations for promoting healthy habits that have been implemented in classrooms across the county. As part of the wellness plan, the school division created a new position for a student wellness coordinator, which is unique among school divisions. Chesterfield County Public Schools also has adopted social-emotional learning standards (SEL) and has piloted SEL programming, and the school division hired two wellness integrators.
“Fit4Kids presented the 2017 Trailblazer Award to Chesterfield County Public Schools because they are making a positive, long-term impact on the health and wellness of children in the Richmond region,” Greater Richmond Fit4Kids CEO Mary Dunne Stewart said. “We selected Chesterfield County Public Schools because the organization meets our definition of a trailblazer: they are an innovator, a pioneer and are paving the way for our community’s children to have a brighter future.”
“This award highlights and celebrates the school division’s longstanding commitment to promoting student health and wellness,” said Superintendent Dr. James Lane. “Healthy habits lead to better attendance, higher levels of engagement in the classroom and ultimately increased levels of student academic growth.”