Winfield-Mt. Union school district promotes healthy living with new 4-H Club, SWITCH wellness program

The Henry County 4-H program is excited to announce its newest 4-H Club, The Healthy Wolves. The Healthy Wolves 4-H Club has 15 members comprised of fourth- and fifth-grade students from Winfield-Mt. Union Community School District.

The Healthy Wolves met for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 14, during their lunch period. These students are Healthy Living ambassadors focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle to all WMU students and community members.

The Winfield-Mt. Union fourth- and fifth-grade classes also began the ?School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health? (SWITCH) program on Feb. 5. SWITCH is an innovative school wellness program designed to help children to ?Switch what they do, view and chew.?

This slogan highlights the three key goals of the program to help students to switch up to 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day; switch down to two hours or less of screen time a day; and to switch up to five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

SWITCH is managed by school staff using a coordinated team-based approach. At least three school staff members with an interest in optimizing student and school wellness create a plan for how to improve their school function and culture towards wellness by engaging students, parents, colleagues and administrators in the process. Winfield-Mt. Union?s team members are Mary Miller, Patricia Jones, Brad Doerring, Kristyn Delzell and Brooke McArtor.

Schools are provided a unique set of resources to carry out SWITCH and get access to a community to hear about and talk with other schools that are making the ?SWITCH.? The across-school communication helps to spark ideas and find ways to overcome common barriers to wellness in schools.

A unique and important element of SWITCH is that the program is adapted by each school to fit their unique wellness needs using the schools availability to resources. This ensures that schools are making the decisions about how to improve wellness at their school and deciding what is feasible and important to them to implement.

The SWITCH program is managed through the Iowa State University Department of Kinesiology project team.

For questions about the SWITCH program or for more information about the Henry County 4-H program, call the Henry County Extension Office at 319-385-8126.