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Four Milwaukee Public Schools will receive $1,000 awards toward furthering project work focused on Healthy Minds. Audubon Technology Communication High School, Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts, Hartford University School and Vieau Elementary School all completed project submissions for the Mission: Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Challenge. The Challenge, with a focus on furthering healthy minds, was offered by Mission: Healthy Kids, a partnership of Children’s Wisconsin and Kohl’s that promotes policy, systems and environmental changes in schools that improve school community health.
All Wisconsin schools were invited to participate in the free Healthy Schools Challenge this past March and April. A total of 38 schools completed the Challenge and were entered into a drawing to win one of 20 $1,000 cash awards to be used to further their project work. The project was also coordinated with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and for this year only, completion of this Challenge replaced the 2021 Wisconsin School Health Award.
Schools were asked to identify an area of improvement in their school environment related to healthy minds and then design and describe a project that can show measurable results. The Challenge gave them ideas to look at their physical environment, health education offerings, family and community engagement and social and emotional climate in new ways, with the goal of supporting improvement in emotional health of their students, staff and community.
Audobon Technology Communication High School focused on improving the social and emotional climate by adding a monthly mental fitness event; Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts focused on nutrition and health education and plans to create food kits for families; Hartford University School focused on social, emotional and physical climate and plans to create sensory walks to help students feel safe and supported; and Vieu Elementary School focused on improving social emotional climate with plans to implement more mindfulness tools and activities.
“The Mission: Healthy Kids program was thrilled to offer this Challenge to Wisconsin schools, especially to address healthy minds in a school year that was fraught with emotional challenges and change,” said Katie Horrigan, director of education and outreach, Children’s Wisconsin and Mission: Healthy Kids. “Through it all, these schools found wonderfully innovative ways to continue their work to improve the wellness and wellbeing of their school communities.”
“In demonstration of Kohl’s commitment to family health and wellness, we are excited to partner with Children’s Wisconsin through our Mission: Healthy Kids program to recognize deserving Wisconsin schools that continue to innovate and make mental wellness a priority for children and their families,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “On behalf of Kohl’s, I’d like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the twenty winners of the Healthy Schools Challenge, as well as all of the participating schools, for demonstrating their dedication to mental wellness and recognizing its impact on the children and families they serve.”