Almost 42 percent of children in the neediest areas of San Clemente are overweight or obese, according to Mission Hospital.
Mission Hospital has assembled a 70-plus-person task force to tackle childhood obesity in specific schools, according to a report the Capistrano Unified school board will hear tonight. The work is already underway at Marblehead and Las Palmas elementary schools in San Clemente and is beginning this year in Concordia.
Among the strategies in use are so-called lunch ‘n learn, when kids learn about nutrition and physical activity on their lunch hours; an “instant recess” DVD of activities; teacher training; obesity awareness assemblies for the morning flag ceremony; and using stickers to identify healthier food choice alternatives.
Here are the strategies employed at the various schools.
- Faculty voted to follow a new food policy and parents were notified that only one sweet treat will be allowed at any event. The school’s next move will be to non-food celebrations- fun games and activities instead. For example, making Valentine’s Day cards instead of sharing candy.
- Twenty fitness activity DVDs for teachers were provided by OCDE.
- CATCH Kids Club Activity Card Boxes for outdoor use are available to every teacher. A physical activities shed with the equipment is in a grassy area near the play area. Classroom teachers have an activity unit plan, directions on laminated cards and a pacing guide --there is one box for each grade level.
- Students participated in “Dash-a-thon,” “Hope for Hannah 5K,” science camp hiking, “Culinary Kids” cooking class, and Goal Zone after school sports classes.
Although Las Palmas did not enjoy a full year of work on their obesity prevention programming, they did enjoy one very fruitful accomplishment: the development and groundbreaking of their new school garden. With funding from Mission Hospital and the Oppenheimer Fund and support from OneOC, Las Palmas broke ground on their school garden on May 31, 2013. Initial work included digging up grass and removing a tree before starting on raised garden beds in June.