The Southern Nevada Health District and the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces have partnered for the Slam Dunk Health Challenge!
Slam Dunk Health is a program where students and teachers earn points each day for eating fruits and vegetables and being physically active while learning the importance of making healthy choices.
This free program takes very little class time and is open to all 1st -5th grade classrooms in the Clark County School District.
One classroom from each grade may be awarded the grand prize of WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces game tickets or a visit from the team! Each participating classroom receives a certificate of achievement and pencils & stickers.
The Slam Dunk Health Challenge is a 2020 National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Model Practice awardee.
Here are some helpful tips from teachers on how to implement this program easily in your classroom.
- Be enthusiastic and consistent with the program. Talk about healthy foods and exercise and implement the program whole heartedly. Students are motivated when you participate yourself.
- Model the first few days in class before you officially start the program have the students keep track at home in their reading folders.
- Give out your own classroom awards. Pick a student as the weekly winner to keep everyone motivated for the entire 4 weeks. Recognize those students who are working hard to earn points.
- When transitioning from subject to subject insert a brain break.
- Allow the students to have a fruit or veggie snack in the morning. When the program is over, transition the snack to be any healthy snack.
- Tie this program into your other standards for health and nutrition. Have the students record their totals in the morning so that they can include their points from the evening before.
- Choose a particular time in the day (or week) for the students to record their points so that it becomes routine rather than haphazard.
- Use the physical activity breaks as a great way to get the kids moving for 3-5 minutes and many are educational.
- If you have a breakfast program at your school, you can record their scores while the students are eating their breakfast. Use this time to brainstorm activities or healthy foods that can earn points for your students.
- Make the weekly tracker part of their weekly homework sheet so they don’t forget to mark it each night.
- Some physical activity breaks ideas include jumping jacks, jogging in place, stretches, dance, air squats, plank, and toe-to-sky touches. Find more brain break ideas online.
- Connect with your P.E. teacher as he or she may have additional information or offer extra support.
- Have a list on hand of possible physical activity breaks so you can easily choose which one to do when its time.
- Visit Go noodle for physical activity breaks ideas.
If you have additional tips you would like to suggest please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program:
Nutrition Posters, Flyers and Banners (sizes: Poster 11×17, Flyer 8×11, Banner 72×48)
Produce of the Month is a five-month school program that promotes fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Monthly lessons highlight a different fruit or vegetable and focus on the importance of eating healthy and being active.
Teacher lesson plans
Healthy School Environment
Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows a link between health behaviors of young people – like physical activity – and their academic success.
In 2014, the Nevada School Wellness Policy was updated and in 2015 the Clark County School District subsequently updated and adopted their Student Wellness Regulation. This regulation outlines nutrition, physical activity and wellness standards for schools in the Clark County School District. Learn more about the school wellness policy and how you can support healthy environments in our schools using the resources below.
- Learn more about the nutrition standards for school meals.
- Eat school breakfast or lunch with your child.
- Review school menus with your child, and encourage them to try new menu items. CCSD has implemented ‘Taste It Tuesdays’ where they debut new menu items on the school lunch menu.
- If you have questions about items on the menu, ask the school to learn more. Sometimes food service directors aren’t able to market all the changes they are making (e.g., using whole grain bread or pizza dough).
- Talk with other parents about the benefits of the school meal programs.
- Ask to join your child’s school wellness committee. The Principal will know who the Wellness Coordinator at their school is.
- Suggest non-food alternatives for classroom celebrations to your child’s teacher. For example, give extra recess, have a dance party or go on a special field trip.
- Bring in healthy snacks (e.g., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, water) when responsible for contributing items to events and celebrations at school. Check with the teacher to see what their guidelines are and then consult the approved snacks list to make sure what you bring is in line with the Student Wellness Regulation.
- Check out Team Nutrition’s A Guide to Smart Snacks in School if you help plan fundraisers or help stock the snack bars.
- Check snack ingredients to makes sure foods don’t contain allergens that may be harmful to students with food allergies.
- Make healthy snacks together with your child. This is an opportunity to learn about healthy food choices.
- E-mail or discuss with other parents the importance of having healthy foods and beverages offered during events and celebrations.
- Ask your child’s elementary school principal to request a CCSD rotating salad bar. See a salad bar in action at Robert Lunt Elementary School.
- E-mail or discuss with other parents the importance of having healthy school fundraisers.
- Talk with the parent-teacher groups about healthy alternatives for fundraising events.
- Work with community groups or local businesses to sponsor a physical activity fundraising event, such as a skate-a-thon or dance-a-thon.
- Learn more about the types of fundraisers available at school.
- When you see a healthy fundraiser in place, reach out to the organizers and let them know you appreciate their efforts.
- Volunteer to help with physical education class or monitor free time on playgrounds before or after school.
- Offer to help with activities, such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and the annual field day.
- Donate equipment to be used in physical education classes.
- Ask the physical education teacher to provide information about physical activities you can be doing with your child at home, as well as helping them practice what they learn in physical education class.
- Help raise money through healthy fundraising to support the physical education program at your school.
- Email or discuss the importance of physical education with other parents.
- Encourage your child’s teacher to provide short breaks of physical activity and offer to help coordinate some of these activities.
- Offer to help with school-wide initiatives to promote physical activity in the classrooms.
- Volunteer to help identify and lead classroom physical activity breaks in your child’s classroom.
- Volunteer to lead a walking school bus in your community, where a group of students walk to school with one or more adults.
- Be physically active as a family. For example, go on a family bike ride, play catch or go for a hike together.
- Help schools advocate for changes to the built environment to make biking and walking to school safer (e.g., adding sidewalks and crosswalks).
- Advocate to school leaders to have recess before lunch. This practice can reduce plate waste and students are more focused in the lunchroom after getting some playtime during recess.
- Suggest offering recess as a reward to students for good grades, high test scores or good classroom behavior.
On average, 8-18 year-olds spend four hours a day watching TV, one hour on the computer, and fifty minutes playing video games. That’s nearly six hours of sedentary screen time every day.
Screen-Free Week is a national event that motivates children and young adults to spend more time engaging in physical activities and less time glued to their devices. Check out the following resources created to help teachers encourage student and family participation in Screen-Free Week: