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The Healthy Schools Summit brings together superintendents and their leadership teams from various school districts across San Antonio, inviting them to share best practices and discuss some of the successes, goals and challenges facing San Antonio schools in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and social media. These summits lay the foundation for a series of other school opportunities to address health and wellness in San Antonio schools. 


2014 Healthy Schools Summit



SPARK Parks, Breakfast in the Classroom, and community gardens were some of the ideas presented to educators during the Healthy Schools Summit hosted by the Mayor’s Fitness Council. While most people started their New Year making resolutions to eat right and exercise more, over 150 of these school and community leaders committed to take these and other messages of healthy living back to thousands of students in San Antonio’s schools.

Madison High School’s Agriscience Magnet Program (AMP) campus was the setting for a day full of information and exhibits, including tours of the campus by Madison FFA students. A LEED certified facility, Madison’s AMP campus provides high school students with hands-on instruction in agricultural, animal, plant, and environmental sciences. Last year, the FFA chapter brought home a National Championship in Veterinary Science from the FFA National Convention.

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana kicked off the conference with a story about his own fitness journey to City Hall, jogging from the district to downtown to file. “Several months ago, for the first time, San Antonio dipped below the state average obesity rate, from 35% to 28%,” said Saldana, talking about the healthy living programs of the Council. “We really do rely on our partners and our school districts for getting that message across.”

Mary Ulmann Japhet, San Antonio Sports executive and immediate past chair of the Council, explained how the Healthy Schools initiative fits into the overall goals of the Council. “The very first steps are with you guys, working with our kids in our schools,” she said, referring to the SA 2020 vision of a healthier city. “Together we can make this one of the healthiest cities in the nation by 2020.”

Shifting focus to food security, keynote speaker Jeremy Everett of the Texas Hunger Initiative provided some spiritual insights about the problem of hunger throughout Texas and the rest of the country. Everett talked about some of the breakfast programs such as Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab and Go.

Studies have shown that while students perform better in school with a healthy breakfast, some may not start their day with this important meal. Everertt said that through implementation of the programs, they have seen districts with 30-35% participation rates increase to 90-95%.Focusing on family and community school based healthy initiatives, three community leaders presented overviews of programs geared towards education, fitness, and healthy eating.

Dr. Bryan Bayles, curator at the Witte Museum, gave a preview of the latest exhibit, currently under construction. The H-E-B Body Adventure will give kids an opportunity to learn more about fitness and health through a series of interactive activities, tracked through a personalized POWERPass.

SPARK Parks have become one of San Antonio’s newest partnership ventures, bringing combined resources to help build new parks and playgrounds at schools in San Antonio. George Block, chair of San Antonio Sports, explained the value these new parks bring to communities across the city.

Holly Stojanik of Dairy MAX offered some different approaches to make sure as many students as possible have access to healthy snacks through a partnership with the NFL called Fuel Up To Play 60.

Shifting to collaborative approaches to wellness, a panel of district wellness leaders from the San Antonio ISD, Northside ISD, and Harlandale ISD talked about ways they have implemented the PE and Wellness components of Texas House Bill 5.

Laura Esparza of the Active Living Council explained the Active Living Plan being promoted by the Council and how it could apply to districts and students. Michelle Smith of the Austin ISD discussed ways their district is working to increase parental engagement in the programs.

Turning to the impact students can have on their community, two student-led initiatives were presented. Estrella Hernandez, a returning Student Ambassador, explained about her project, We Walk, a mobile application to help get kids moving in San Antonio. Since first introducing this application to the Council, Hernandez has added new features to provide information about nutrition.

Taking a cue from an earlier presentation on food security, students and their teachers from Harris Middle School told how they turned a barren patch of turf beside the school into a thriving community garden.

Built and managed entirely by students, the garden has not only provided income to expand but also sparked interest with some students in horticulture. Since the school is a feeder to Madison High School, the garden serves as a good preparation for those targeting the AMP at Madison.

Probably the best outcome of the Summit was the opportunity for educators and organizations to connect with each other about how they were promoting active and healthy living with their students. Through this forum for sharing ideas, schools could learn best practices for fitness and nutrition.

Keynote Speaker Jeremy Everett

Jeremy jpg 800x1000 q100Jeremy Everett is the Director of Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, which is a capacity building, collaborative project dedicated to developing and implementing strategies to end hunger and reduce poverty through policy, education, research, and community organizing. Jeremy has worked for international and community development organizations as a teacher, religious leader, community organizer, and organic farmer. Jeremy earned a bachelor’s degree from Samford University, a Master of Divinity from Baylor University, and is completing his PhD. in Social Work from Baylor University. Jeremy is also a Fellow of the University of Texas LBJ School’s Strauss Center for International Security and Law. 


2014 Summit Participants



2013 Healthy Schools Summit

Dr. Margo Wootan


Mayor’s Fitness Council Keynote Speaker. Dr. Margo Wootan presented on how Healthy Schools Support Learning. Dr. Wootan is the Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), one of the country’s leading health advocacy organizations that specializes in food, nutrition, and obesity prevention. Dr. Wootan received her B.S. in nutrition from Cornell University and her doctorate in nutrition from Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Wootan co-founded and coordinates the activities of the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) and the Food Marketing Workgroup. She has coordinated and led efforts to require calorie labeling at fast food and other chain restaurants, require trans fat labeling on packaged foods, improve school foods, reduce junk food marketing aimed at children, and expand nutrition and physical activity programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wootan has received numerous awards and is quoted regularly in the nation’s major media. To review her presentation and learn how to incorporate national best practices, click HERE.



Jeffrey S. Davenport – Principal of Nora Forester Elementary (NISD)

A Principal’s Success with Fostering a Healthy Campus. Click HERE


Dr. Mary Longloy - Principal of Redland Oaks Elementary (NEISD)


A Principal’s Success with Healthy Fundraising, Engaging Parents, Students, and Communities. Click HERE 







Susan Galindo – Board of Trustees, President (NESID)


NESID Right Bits, Implementation of Healthy Concessions for entire NEISD school district. Click HERE.





2013 Summit Participants

  • San Antonio Parks and Recreations
  • San Antonio Food Bank
  • San Antonio Sports
  • San Antonio Walks!
  • Dairy Max
  • The Health Collaborative
  • KLRN
  • ¡ Por Vida!
  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service
  • Bike Texas
  • Appdiction Studios – Stop Bullies App
  • Action for Healthy Kids
  • Any Baby Can
  • American Lung Association



school cafeteria


One of the goals of the Mayor's Fitness Council and FitCitySA is to reduce and prevent obesity in children and adults by helping to identify and highlight activities in school and community settings across Bexar County. Please check our School Resources page to support your school in implementing best practices in wellness at your school. 






Healthy Schools Spotlight


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Healthy Food Cart Helps Kids Grab Breakfast on the Run

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, but it can also be the most difficult to squeeze into a busy schedule. See what this Mayor's Fitness Council Student Ambassador did to help make sure busy students at her school were able to get a healthy breakfast to go!



SaludHeroes of food

Adding “Salud” to Kid Food

Junk food shouldn’t be the only option kids have to eat. That’s why Salud America! is presenting six new #SaludHeroes who helped give Latino kids healthier food inside and outside school. WATCH and VOTE for your favorite “#SaludHeroes of food” HERE and be entered in a random drawing to win a FREE T-shirt and jump rope! Contest ends Feb. 25, 2015,  To find out more about what the Salud Heroes of food are, click HERE

SAtodayshowStudent Ambassador on the Today Show

Mayor's Fitness Council Student Ambassador, Estrella Hernandez, was featured as part of a segment on Young Women’s Entrepreneurship for the Today show! Congrats, Estrella!

Click the image to the left to view the video now. For more about the Student Ambassador program, click HERE. 


Concession Stands 

Creating healthier concession stands in San Antonio

See how North East ISD in San Antonio, one of the Healthy Schools Program districts, has made changes to their school concession stands. Click the image to the left to view the video.  



Healthy Schools Summit

Healthy Schools SummitThe Mayor's Fitness Council's Healthy Schools Summits serve as opportunities for the discussion of the successes, goals and challenges facing San Antonio schools in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and social media. The goals these annual summits are to bring together superintendents and their leadership teams from school districts across San Antonio to share best practice, current programs and initiatives that school districts have proposed and embraced. At these summits expert speakers from various areas of health and wellness, and individuals from the community, including parents, teachers, administrators and city organizations learn new information and share best practices about wellness policies in San Antonio's school districts. All summits are free and open to the general public.

The Healthy Schools Initiative focuses on improving nutrition and physical activity in schools throughout San Antonio. The Healthy Schools Initiative supports similarly focused national initiatives and organizations, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, the Healthier US Schools Challenge, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Student Ambassadors

Student AmbassadorsThe purpose of the Mayor's Fitness Council Student Ambassador Program is to provide students the opportunity to represent the Mayor's Fitness Council by promoting and encouraging healthy living at their school campus, at home, and in their communities.Students are selected though a competitive application process to recruit a diverse and energetic group of students to promote health in San Antonio and of its citizens. Each student ambassador is responsible for implementing a strategy at their school campus or in their community to improve physical activity and nutrition.



The Healthy Schools Initiative focuses on improving nutrition and physical activity in schools throughout San Antonio. The Healthy Schools Initiative supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move" initiative, the Healthier US Schools Challenge, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and School Specialty.

Healthy After School Programs

CPPW provided a workshop to school districts in collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and School Specialty.  School districts receive training, tools, and resources regarding healthy after school programming.  The focus includes consistency to USDA nutrition guidelines and incorporating physical activity into programming.  Incentives for attending the workshop include FREE physical activity equipment.

Healthy Schools Meals

CPPW provides a workshop to school districts in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools" initiative.  School districts receive training, tools, and resources regarding healthy school meals.  The focus includes innovative techniques for nutritious school meals and increasing access to fruits and vegetables.  Incentives for attending the workshop include a FREE salad bar(s).


The Healthy Schools Summit

The Healthy Schools Summit brings together superintendents and their leadership teams from various school districts across San Antonio, inviting them to share best practices and discuss some of the successes, goals and challenges facing San Antonio schools in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and social media. These summits lay the foundation for a series of other school opportunities to address health and wellness in San Antonio schools.


Community and Schools Links....


By Jennifer R. Lloyd - Express-News   Web Posted: 10/20/2010 12:00 AM CDT

As an overweight high school student, Ashley Castoreno skipped physical education class so many times that she failed.

“I just felt embarrassed because of how my weight was,” Castoreno said.

Now 65 pounds lighter, the recent graduate counts those failures as a major factor in her successful weight loss. If she hadn't failed those classes, she wouldn't have been required to take San Antonio Independent School District's innovative physical education course, PE 3: PE for the Mind, Body and Spirit, during her senior year at Highlands High School.

On Tuesday, Castoreno spoke about her health transformation to about 100 local leaders and public education officials. Superintendents from many local school districts pledged to begin replicating successes like Castoreno's for students across San Antonio.

Mayor Julián Castro, along with the Mayor's Fitness Council and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, hosted the first of two summits on the topic.

Castro, who admitted to soda-and-doughnut breakfasts in high school, commended districts for swapping out less nutritional ingredients in school meals. But he and others agreed there's still work to be done.

About 30 percent of all local students may be at an unhealthy weight, said Fernando Guerra, Metro Health's director of health. That number is closer to 35 percent for students in the San Antonio, Edgewood, South San Antonio, Harlandale, Southwest, Somerset and Southside districts, according to 2009 Fitnessgram data.

School district leaders left the summit with four goals:

  • Improving physical fitness.
  • Integrating health, nutrition and fitness more thoroughly into the curriculum.
  • Improving nutrition.
  • Increasing communication with families and neighborhoods, which could mean launching mandatory education sessions for parents of morbidly obese students and starting community gardens.

Aside from the benefits of physical well-being, nutrition and fitness have been found to boost academic performance, said Liset Leal-Vasquez, Texas relationship manager for Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Also, overweight children are much more likely to miss school than their normal-weight peers, she said.

Alamo Heights ISD Superintendent Kevin Brown and Jorge Topete, spokesman for Southside ISD, said they were glad to join in a citywide effort.

“Southside ISD needs to change and we want to change for the sake of our children,” Topete said. “But if we don't have the support from the community, from the businesses, from parents, we won't move as fast as we could.”

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Understanding School Wellness Policy Requirements

Improving child nutrition is the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The legislation authorizes funding and sets policy for USDA's core child nutrition programs.

The USDA Policy memorandum provides detailed information about the requirements and recommended actions. 

Comparison Chart of the 2004 and 2010 requirements comparing local school wellness policy requirements from the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 to those in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. 

USDA Food and Nutrition Services provides local school wellness Policy Reference materials and sample policies.


How to Start a School Wellness Council or Get Involved in Your School Health Advisory Council

The School Wellness Council Toolkit, developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, contains steps for starting a school wellness council including a sample agenda and other tools. Available to participating schools.

Effective School Health Advisory Councils, developed by North Carolina Department of Education, is a tool kit for school health councils to conduct needs assessments, develop action plans, evaluate and fundraise. Includes meeting planners and action plans.


Salud Topics

Salud America!
Growing Healthy Change

This website brings you healthy changes happening in your community right now, and shows how to start your own change. Find new policies, stories, and research to reduce Latino childhood obesity—like unlocking playgrounds after school—in your city, school, county, state, and nation!

Get started by clicking the image to the left.



How Can Parents Support Schools

Parents in Action!, A Guide to Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy and its companion lesson plans, developed by California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition), is a toolkit to help stakeholders engage parents in local school wellness policy implementation. Available in English and Spanish HERE.

PTA Healthy Lifestyle for Parents, developed by the California State Parent and Teachers Association Health Commission, provides guidance to parents and also offers other resources on their webpage including model wellness policies. Available HERE.

Texas PTA Healthy Lifestyles Program Available HERE.



Eat Right, Find a Site!

Click the image to find the nearest summer foods service meal site and it's serving days and times. 



Tips, Tools and Fitness Break Videos to Increase Physical Activity Opportunities in Schools

JAM (Just a Minute) Program is a free program for schools which brings health education and daily activity into the classroom. Every week of the school year the program delivers a one-minute exercise routine called the JAMmin’ Minute which helps to get both students and staff up and moving. The JAMmin’ Minute is a one-minute fitness burst that includes 5 very simple exercises that kids can do while either standing or sitting in a chair. Included in this communication is a weekly health tip that helps kids learn a healthier habit. Available HERE.

Let's Move! Available HERE.

Fitness Breaks with NBA All-Star Paul Pierce-6 fitness breaks created especially for classrooms, before and after school programs or anywhere students are ready to HAVE FUN and GET ACTIVE! Available HERE.

Bob Harper, Tara Stiles, and Billy Blanks joined forces with global fitness company Zumba to get kids moving. Get the series of 3-5 minute physical activity videos, with quick and interactive resource for teachers, coaches, and parents to show kids how to enjoy physical activity. Available HERE. See all videos by registering HERE.


 Tips, Tools and Plans to Start a Healthy School Fundraiser

  • Center for Science in the Public Interest Tip Sheet.
  •  Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides a Toolkit with a plan to help you organize a healthy fundraiser.


Physical Activity, Nutrition Education and Grant Opportunities

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, "Two out of three and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese." This translates to a staggering $190 billion in obesity-related health care costs. Soda is a main contributor to this health care disaster. Raising awareness and understanding about the true costs of drinking a can of soda represent the important steps in the fight against obesity. Washington State University is among the institutions who have shared this video among their other health resources.


Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Healthy School Program Resources and Toolkit

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation developed Care2Eat: Lessons for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating for use with students in middle and high school. 
The Unit of Study guides students to identify healthy food choices and prepares all students to be advocates for healthier food choices, especially the snack and drinks available to them in school.

The ReadB4UWEat! Teacher Guide may be used in grades 5-7 as a stand-alone set of lessons when teaching nutrition education or inocrporated into a comprehensive health education curriculum. 

Introducing youth to gardening exposes them to fresh foods, as well as physical activity they can continue to enjoy for the rest of their lives. Adding gardening to a school or afterschool curriculum provides a hands-on experience that could stir youths’ interest in learning, encourage them to eat healthier foods and provide them opportunities to develop personal and social skills. See Alliance for a Healthier Generation Linking School Gardens to the Healthy Schools Program overview. HealthierGeneration.org offers a toolkit for How to Start a School Garden. 


studenthealthStudent Resources

Online Colleges Student Health and Wellness Guide: Students can be quick to let their health fall to the wayside when they start college, but staying aware of good and bad health habits will serve you well in the long-term. Physical health and nutrition are directly connected to mental health, effective study habits, and regular sleep patterns. Download the Student Health and Wellness Guide now to get tips to avoid common pitfalls. 


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