This post was originally shared on the Live Well Omaha Kids website on April 26, 2016.

Live Well Omaha Kids promotes healthy eating and active living habits, so we’re excited to recognize Every Kid Healthy™ Week, April 25-29, 2016. This is a time to celebrate our local school health and wellness achievements. Today we’re spotlighting one of our Partners for Healthy Schools members, Fontenelle Elementary. Their Principal, Eric P. Nelson, recently shared an impressive list of things this school is doing to improve the health and wellness of their students. Check it out!

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Mural by Bill Hoover located in the Fontenelle Garden

Fontenelle Elementary has been knee-deep in health and wellness initiatives for over 5 years. The staff, students, and community have embraced and enjoyed the several opportunities we have been afforded. The staff have worked long hours and wrote many grants to get our initiatives off the ground and then have remained steadfast to ensure we sustain all that we create. We love working with Live Well Omaha and are proud to have been the first partner school in the Partners for a Healthy City cohort.

Below is a list of some of the great things happening at Fontenelle:

  • Breathing / Calm Down Room – a room created by the office as a calming place that helps kids get back to good and be successful back in the classroom. We utilize specific colors and large comfortable, safe bean bags and pillows to create a calming aura.
  • HeartMath / emwave technology – empowering behavior changes in many students through the use of technology. Students are able to quickly re-balance mind, body, and emotions, which helps to self-regulate in the classroom or during assessments.
  • Project Fit Playground – through a joint grant from Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Nebraska, Omaha Schools Foundation, and Project Fit, Fontenelle is benefiting from an amazing playground that showcases and enhances healthy exercise.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Program – all of our students receive weekly fruits and vegetables. We try to utilize different kinds to introduce the kids to a variety of healthy alternatives.
  • Safe Routes to School / Bike Riding – we encourage our students and staff to walk or bike to school. We have several routes that are mapped out to ensure the journey is a safe one.
  • Creighton Dental Students / Tooth Mobile – our kids receive varnish and sealants from Creighton and then if they have an issue with a tooth, etc. the tooth mobile comes in to rectify the problem.
  • Connections Program from Project Harmony – intense therapy for some of our students at school has helped more kids stay in class and be successful. We also took part in an Art Therapy group that created a “Speak Truth” campaign for the entire school. The use of art helped more than we could have ever imagined.
  • Walking Club – we are putting the finishing touches on our first outdoor walking track. Now with the use of pedometers, our walking club can track steps both inside and out. They continue to make their journey around the United States to show how far they are actually walking. The photo below shows the cement poured and when finished 9 laps will equal 1 mile.
  • 2014 National Green Ribbon School – one of 48 schools across the country, the only one from Nebraska, to receive this award from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Department of Education. We received this honor for all of the healthy choices we have put in place.
  • Tai Chi Chih – a couple times a week, 12 classrooms partake in Tai Chi Chih and the 19 movements to help calm themselves and prepare for the day. Pam Yahnke is our certified instructor and she has brought so much joy and wellness to our kids and staff.
  • Fuel up to Play 60 – we have participated in Fuel up to Play 60 for several years and have utilized some of the funding to help pay for our walking track. The kids continue to move daily with Go Noodle and take many Brain Breaks to help keep the creative juices flowing.
  • Alliance For a Healthier Generation – Fontenelle received the Bronze Award for creating and following a plan that helped sustain and boost several health and wellness initiatives.

We are very fortunate to have amazing partners, students and staff to collaborate on all of our healthy initiatives. Live Well Omaha and Fontenelle Elementary continue to bridge the gaps between healthy starts and academic success.

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Every Kid Healthy™ Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts our school partners are doing to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning – because healthy k, ds learn better! Everyone in the country can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools.