A Healthy School Environment

The Tracy Learning Center knows that every school should provide a healthy and engaging environment where children can learn and grow.

There are over 130,000 K-12 schools in the United States. Within these schools, over 55 million students spend the majority of their time living, breathing and learning.

Today, due to budget constraints, aging infrastructures and competing municipal priorities, a majority of schools are often unhealthy and in disrepair.

A healthy school, however, has been shown to improve student and teacher achievement, attendance, health and well-being.

In this tough economy, every dollar counts. This is especially true at public schools where difficult budgetary decisions are faced every day. The installation of more efficient lighting, state of the art heating, cooling and ventilation systems to improve air quality, new windows and energy saving features like solar panels all can help to significantly decrease the amount of money a school must pay towards fuel costs. Instead, that money can go for teacher salaries, healthier food in cafeterias, safer play spaces and more physical education in the outdoors.

Obesity is a real and serious problem in our country. Historically, obesity and its host of related diseases struck only adults. Today, more and more our children are falling victim to this preventable condition. Indeed, the prevalence of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Healthy schools ensure children are served nutritious meals at school, including lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, accompanied by curriculum teaching them to make the right food choices to help them grow.

Healthy children need to spend time outdoors being physically active. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that youth participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Studies have also shown that time spent playing outside improves student test scores and behavior. Healthy schools build safe, engaging playgrounds where all children can have fun, enjoy exercising and engage the great outdoors.

 

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