We are currently using a comprehensive approach to improve the nutrition standards, physical education/physical activity policies and staff wellness in schools across Kentucky. By using the Coordinated School Health (CSH) approach, we are strengthening our statewide infrastructure through the Kentucky School Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Network and engaging administrators, teachers, parents and students in the creation of healthier Kentucky schools.
When schools, families and the community work together to support positive youth development, risk behaviors are reduced and students’ health and academic achievement are promoted. Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better academically, have better attendance and behave better inside and outside of the classroom. By working with schools, we can reach students, parents and teachers at once and help them set an example of how we can create a new health culture.
Farm to School Program
Kentucky is committed to assisting school districts in obtaining high quality and fresh KY Proud foods to our school systems. Beyond serving local foods at mealtime, schools are planting gardens, visiting farms and turning the cafeteria into a classroom. Developing a stable infrastructure that connects school cafeterias and local farmers is the key to sustaining this program that will not only support the health of our children, but also our local economies. Currently, 702 schools in 60 districts are buying local Kentucky foods for their school cafeterias. For more information, please visit the Department of Agriculture webpage.
Students with Active Role Models (SWARM)
The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Education have teamed up to provide personal incentives to teachers and school staff to be physically active. SWARM provides an easy, no-cost way for schools to utilize an existing program, Humana Vitality, to support their local school wellness policy and meet the recommendations of the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP). All Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan (KEHP) members, including school staff, are eligible to participate. For more information, please visit the KEHP wellness portal webpage.
Kentucky Farm to School Handbook
This manual is designed to be a practical tool for school food service directors, farmers and community members interested in feeding Kentucky food to Kentucky kids in Kentucky schools. It is chock full of realistic advice and the most helpful tools we could find to make this important task easier and more commonly practiced.