“Since working with you, I want to get them up as much as possible instead of having them sit and watch me walk around as I review answers.” – WJCC Teacher
“This is exactly what I was looking for!! You make it seem so easy, I plan on doing more of your activities too.” – WJCC Teacher
“The kids call your class SFL for Super Fun Learning.” – WJCC Teacher
The Wellness Integration Program empowers elementary classroom teachers so that they are motivated, skilled, and comfortable integrating physical activity and nutrition information into the core curriculum. The program also provides resources and training for teachers to integrate other wellness information throughout the school day. The program is based on a train-the-trainer model and is implemented by Wellness Integration Program Specialists (WIPS) who serve as the teacher trainers. All of the program lessons are correlated with the Virginia Standards of Learning.
The Primary Role of the Wellness Integration Program Specialists
The specialists create and compile lessons that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and overall well-being. They then model these lessons for teachers and provide them with encouragement and resources so that they can implement the classroom lessons on their own. The specialists serve as advocates and cheerleaders for healthy lifestyle choices and they are catalysts for creating a healthier school environment.
The WIPS also work with their school’s Wellness Leader to facilitate school-wide activities such as the morning Yoga stretch after the Pledge of Allegiance, fruit and veggie eating contests, and increased physical activity at recess using recess packs that are color coded for each grade.
As a result of the program, hundreds of lessons have been compiled that promote healthy eating and physical activity or both. The lessons are grouped by grade level, subject, and SOL. They are currently available to the division’s teachers and are available upon request by other school divisions.
The Wellness Integration Program began in one school of the division with one specialist. The program now employs three specialists and has expanded to all nine of the division’s elementary schools. Wellness Integration is no longer just a WJCC school division program. School divisions across Virginia, such as Richmond, Chesterfield, Rappahannock, and Fauquier use Wellness Integration in their elementary schools.