Partners for Active Living is working to reduce the rate of childhood obesity in Spartanburg County through partnerships with nine area public schools. Our partnerships with Spartanburg School Districts 1, 2, 3, and 6, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the Mary Black Foundation enable us to provide essential tools and resources for improving the health of Spartanburg’s children, families, and community at-large. PAL currently supports the four Spartanburg School Districts and nine schools with developing and implementing best-practice models to be expanded to other schools in Spartanburg. Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s "Healthy Schools Program" is the basis for our intervention. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation framework focuses on a coordinated approach that incorporates a "Healthy Eating, Active Living” message into the entire school and community culture by providing a menu of proven interventions that schools choose to implement.
Partners for Active Living (PAL) builds support at each partner school through a school-based wellness committee to plan and lead the implementation. PAL also assesses the participating schools to identify areas of success and areas for improvement. PAL assists all school wellness coordinators in developing an Action Plan based on what is important and achievable in the school community. Further support to build sustainable programs is offered to all participating Spartanburg County schools.
• 3 new walking tracks and 5 schools with marked miles indoors and/or outdoors being used by staff and students;
• All 9 schools held community events, engagements and educational opportunities, many had several throughout the year;
• New Kaboom playground with open community access in Boiling Springs;
• All 9 schools launched Rethink Your Drink campaigns; 10 upgraded bottle filling stations; 1 outdoor water station has been installed near open access walking track; 1 infused water station being used to encourage middle school students to choose water;
• 6 schools implemented Smarter Lunchroom techniques by adding student art, CATCH messaging, Fuel Up To Play 60 messaging, simple healthy choices marketing tools, healthier cooking equipment, and/or healthy choice programming like taste tests and ‘Go Food of the Day’ promotion
• All 9 schools increased student physical activity through GoNoodle and other classroom based interventions, before and after school physical activity opportunities;
In addition, PAL's Healthy Kids Coordinator provides coordination of the Annual BMI Survey, supports Walk/Bike to School Day events, provides technical assistance to schools applying for additional funds to support implementation of school action plans, and serves on the Spartanburg School District 7 CSHAC committee that addresses health and wellness policies across its District. The Healthy Kids Coordinator serves as the consistent healthy schools contact for the county across the seven school districts.