A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
April 2015  /  Issue XXIX
In This Issue

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Alief ISD Leads the Way for Student WellnessAliefISD

Alief Independent School District believes in the power of active learning and is using three approaches to train teachers on how movement can enhance learning in the classroom: 1) Recess coaches through Playworks, 2) Action Based Learning, and 3) Action Based Learning training for teachers. All of these approaches support HLM Priority Policy L4.

Playworks: Alief ISD has partnered with Playworks to employ a full-time recess coach at 15 elementary campuses to help enhance and transform recess and play into a safe and positive experience. Recess coaches use best practices to provide recess activities that stimulate an environment for better learning.

Alief ISD elementary students stay active with Playworks activities, including recess games such as 4-square and after school intramural games like flag football.

Action Based Learning:
Alief ISD has been promoting active learning for several years, by helping teachers include more movement in the classroom throughout the school day. Students come to the lab three times per week and rotate through the stations where academic concepts are added based on what students are learning in the classroom. Some campuses are also adding kinesthetic furniture (e.g. standing desks, desks with bike pedals) in classrooms. Teachers report that this has drastically reduced discipline issues and that students are more focused when taking tests.

Action Based Learning Training for Teachers: All teachers who come to Alief ISD attend a 7-hour training session on how and why to add movement to the classroom. All teachers are given many resources to help make this happen in their own classrooms.

According to Tiffany Thomas, Alief ISD School Board Member, "our partnership with Playworks is making a difference in the individual lives of the students we educate and also assists our Educators with an innovative way to teach. What we are doing in Alief ISD is a classic example of how schools can't do it alone and partnerships like this is necessary". For more information, contact Kelley Sullivan, Wellness Coordinator, at kelley.sullivan@aliefisd.net
HLM Recognized at Pasadena SHAC Meeting SHAC

Pasadena Independent School District had a great turn out at their School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Parent Forum on Tuesday, April 21st. They had 41 attendees and 20 of those were parents! During the meeting, the SHAC recognized their Community Partners, including Healthy Living Matters, for supporting the health and wellness of Pasadena families and the community.      

Recognized Community Partners (L to R): Representatives from Chick-fil-A, Dairy Max, Gulfgate Dodge, YMCA and HLM 

The next district SHAC meeting will be Tuesday, May 19.  For more information, visit the Pasadena ISD SHAC website.  

Bills to Watch Bills 

The following bills are being primarily driven by HLM:

  • SB 1374 and SB 1476, relate to requiring that certain strategic plans of certain state agencies to include the goals of reducing the incidence of food insecurity, poor nutrition, and diet-related disease in this state.  Both bills are awaiting a hearing in Senate Health & Human Services. Aligns with our Global Policy on Childhood Obesity.
  • HB 2086, relates to health and physical education requirements in public schools. Bill is still awaiting a hearing in House Education Committee. Aligns with HLM Priority Policies: P3, P4 & P5.
  • HB 2087, relates to the development of healthy nutrition and physical activity guidelines for licensed child-care providers, public school teachers, and public school administrators. - Bill has been heard and is pending in the House Human Services. Aligns with HLM Priority Policy: L1.
To see a list of other bills HLM is supporting on behalf of other organizations, click here . For questions, please contact Tim Schauer, at tim@healthylivingmatters.net .
Featured Resource: Farm to School Training Grants Resource


Farm to school trainings help strengthen supply chains and provide technical assistance in the areas of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and integration of agriculture-based curriculum. If you have farm to school know-how to share, consider applying for a training grant to disseminate best practices, highlight model programs, and celebrate successes!

Application basics:

  • Letters of intent are due April 30; check out a sample  here
  • If your letter of intent is selected, you'll be invited to submit a full proposal
  • Find the details of the application process  here
Information sharing leads to stronger programs, more inspired program operators and, ultimately, healthy, food-smart kids. If you have any questions about training grants, contact the USDA at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov.

Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Full Report    

The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns Full Report    


Safer Streets, Stronger Economies Full Report 


CAN DO Houston Quarterly Partnership Meeting 

Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77007 


Webinar: Rankings in Action: Diet and Exercise

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

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Webinar: CDC's Community Guide: Improving the Science of Built Environment & Public Health for Physical Activity

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM  

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Shape Up Houston Networking Breakfast

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004

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Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference

Wednesday, May 20 - Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hyatt Regency Conference Center, 1200 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002

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To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage