Healthy Lifestyles Award Presented to Rochester Community PTA Council

The Rochester Community PTA Council has been honored with the Healthy Lifestyles Award from the Michigan PTA.

The award recognizes the efforts of all Rochester Community Schools PTA units and district wide programs that focus on a holistic approach to improving the home/school health climate. It is based on the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, which provide a framework for families, schools and communities to work together to support student success.

Jenni Glaspie, Lisa Roscoe, Barb Rill, Joanne Deys, Jennifer Hart, Rick Beverly, Betsie Brodbeck, Nancy Butty

Jenni Glaspie, Lisa Roscoe, Barb Rill, Joanne Deys, Jennifer Hart, Rick Beverly, Betsie Brodbeck, Nancy Butty

The winning application outlined the Rochester PTAs’ combined emphasis on advocating for wellness of the whole child, beyond academics. The winning programs support the notion that children with healthy minds and bodies learn better.

“Physical and emotional wellness are fundamental to student success,” said Barb Rill, Rochester Community PTA Council president. “Our PTA programs work to include wellness in the curriculum, parent education, teacher training, and enrichment opportunities outside of school. This balanced approach serves our kids to create healthy home and school environments.”

The stand-out programs that secured this recognition include the following: 

  • The Bikes and Lids for Kids program, which provides new helmets and refurbished bicycles for children in need. The program was started by Betsie Brodbeck, former Hampton PTA president, who recognized that many students wanted to ride bikes to and from school, but were unable to afford them. She has secured hundreds of bikes, helmets and volunteers to meet this community need, which also gets children outdoors and exercising.
  • The Health & Wellness Committee, under the direction of Dennette Fend, has brought many initiatives to the district including: mindfulness training for teachers, water-drinking challenges to curb soda consumption, stress relief strategies for high-schoolers, enrichments about the healthy use of screentime, and social/behavioral strategies for students to manage their emotions and build resilience.
  • A newly formed Social-Emotional Wellness Committee, comprised of RCS middle-school and high-school counselors, mental health professionals, RCS educators, PTA council members, administration, and community volunteers, has established three priorities for students. The committee is implementing education and outreach efforts related to suicide prevention, anxiety and depression, and substance abuse.
  • Community outreach programs including the school supply collection for students in Pontiac and support to Detroit Public Schools, illustrate Rochester’s commitment to all kids.

Lisa Roscoe, PTA Council vice president for membership, accepted the award on behalf of the district at a summer convention.

“Social-emotional wellness is an embedded philosophy for our administrators and educators. It is not a one-time event or fleeting idea. We are working toward sustained efforts to nurture mental wellness, physical strength, personal balance, inclusion, empathy, gratitude and diverse points of view into our cultures of learning,” Rill said. “Thank you to our amazing PTA families throughout the district who reassure our children of their value and worth in meaningful ways.

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