Success Stories Teachers Lead Physical Activity: Little Ones Learning Center Little Ones Learning Center had a goal to increase the teacher-led physical activity of their students. Without trained physical education staff and a shortage of outdoor equipment, Early Childhood Program Administrator Wande Okunoren-Meadows knew that some major changes would have to be made. She partnered with HealthMPowers and together they provided the teachers with the training and resources necessary to make some creative physical activity changes.HealthMPowers staff visited Little Ones Learning Center and modeled physical activities that can be incorporated into a classroom setting. The children were fully engaged in the exercises and the classroom teachers noted that the lesson spurred several new ideas to integrate physical activity into their daily routines. Encouraged, Ms. Okunoren-Meadows made it her personal goal to increase physical activity for the children by making the following changes:Purchased more outdoor physical activity equipmentHired a part-time yoga instructorIncorporated indoor movements into math, science, and literacy lessonsSupported teachers in their efforts to lead children in physical activity games and integrate physical activity into the daily classroom routine All Hands In: Joesph B. WhiteheadJoesph B. Whitehead, a Boys and Girls Club located in Fulton County, implemented wellness strategy at their club around their garden. Excitement of the garden grew as the garden thrived after the spring planting of kale, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers.Youth and staff became more engaged every gardening session and the garden sparked curiosity when they started researching different types of salsas that could be created using produce from the garden. With teamwork they created a “secret” Salsa-Salsa recipe for an annual Boy’s and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta competition.In September, the club was surprised by a visit from the SEC and Allstate community service program. Whitehead was selected because it’s located in a food desert and the goal of revitalizing the garden is to increase fresh food access for the youth and families. Former SEC athletes and volunteers came together to build new garden beds, a rain-water collection system and a composter for the garden. The event was a huge success! Georgia Walk to School Day: Oak Hill Middle SchoolTo reach their school wellness goal, Oak Hill Middle School hosted ribbon cutting ceremony for a pedestrian bridge to encourage physical activity by safely walking to school. The school participated in GA walk to school day on March 8, 2017! “Georgia Walk to School Day continues to be a flagship spring event for Safe Routes to Schools,” Price said. “Oak Hill Middle School — you participated in this event today by walking around our campus. I hope that you got some really good exercise. We are celebrating today the completion of this beautiful bridge as well as all the sidewalks that we have throughout our campus. It is this kind of project that makes the education that we provide to our students an even better education because it allows us to bring in the outside world into our school. We are incredibly excited about the impact that this project will have on our campus here in Baldwin County and on the greater community.” Engaging Students in Gardening: Stoneview Elementary SchoolStoneview Elementary is a partnering HealthMPowers school. One of their school objectives was to have all students at their elementary school participate in growing, cultivating, and consuming healthy fruits and vegetables in the school’s community garden. When you walk into Stoneview there is a bulletin board displaying their recent harvests followed by a garden theme throughout the whole school. The school garden is run by fourth graders and includes a koi pond, compost station and planter boxes filled with fruits and vegetables. Students are growing and taste testing the foods they cultivate. The cabbage pictured was made into a slaw for a taste test lesson. First graders had the opportunity to handle fresh broccoli. Exposing students to whole foods while sending them consistent messages about how to be healthy may be the difference between getting kids to eat whole produce instead of throwing it away.