How would you deal with healthy living issues in your school age program to increase ………become ingrained as an “outlook” on life that will affect lifestyle choices as well?
School is a good place to influence healthy living before harmful habits are developed in students. Today, it has been widely accepted that quality school age program is a key factor in healthy child development. Research has also shown that school age program support the healthy development of children and young adolescents.
Developmental healthful activities must be integrated in school age program along with the posting of educational materials that reinforce messages about healthy living on different strategic places in the school. These activities and health messages must be designed wholistically that all aspects of healthy living are properly addressed and equally given importance. In this manner the students can gain deeper understanding of healthy living. The school age program must integrate health services to promote and protect the health of every child, nutrition services to promote and educate students of proper health foods and balanced diet, physical education to promote sports and regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, guidance and counseling to monitor and promote mental and emotional well-being of the students, and parents involvement to provide motivation and support to the students. Teachers should also teach healthful behaviors to their students and provide them with skills to live healthier lives. It is necessary that all teachers together with the school administration and staff model the healthful behavior to their students to create a positive and lasting impact of the activities and teachings to the students following the principle of observational learning. According to observational learning “a fundamental way humans acquire skills and behavior is by observing behaviors of others. A learned behavior will be enacted if it leads directly to a desired outcome, if it has been observed to be effective for the model, or if it is self-satisfying” (Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998, pp. 596-598). Following this principle school administrator and staff as role models of the students must practice what they are preaching so it can have significant impact to their students’ life and lifestyle choices.
Hall, C. S., Lindzey, G., & Campbell, J.B. (1998). Theories of personality (4th ed.). U.S.A:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.