Community Relations to Improve Physical Activity
Are you looking for new ways to improve physical activity in your school? Check out a few tips from Hastings School District Superintendent, Tim Collins here!
The ability to get community involvement, in any of your school programs, centers around clear and concise communication with a variety of stakeholders in the community. There has to be a feeling from the community that the school district wants, encourages, and welcomes the opportunity for organizations to get involved and have a voice on some of the activities that students, staff and families can participate in. This level of direct communication fosters and builds energy from many resources in the community; athletic boosters, foundations, county and medical resources, and businesses within the community.
These photos show some of the activities that took place during the months of June and July in the Hastings School District. This level of activity takes place in many schools throughout the State of Minnesota. We have outstanding participation due to the good fortune of having many of our teachers, coaches, and counselors directly involved with the youth of our communities during the summer months. When our parents and students have a positive experience within our facilities, and with many of our staff members, the community then wants to support even more physically active programs in our schools. The Booster Clubs, specifically, reach out and want to make financial contributions to strengthen our workout center and cardiovascular initiatives. The Athletic Boosters understand that we want to host youth; basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer and wrestling tournaments. As a school district we attempt to keep the costs as low as possible for these organizations because we understand that for every dollar they raise, those dollars go right back into our athletic programs and workout equipment!
That same sense of welcoming outside organizations into our schools goes beyond athletics. Both Dakota County Health and Human Services and the Local Y have been instrumental in administering health related services to all of our employees. This collaborative is through health screening initiatives or flu shots, available right on site, to free trial memberships with our local Y partner. A wellness program for our employees is always stronger and more effective when we can bring the services right to our employees on school grounds.
The Hastings Public Schools Foundation is an example of having the ability to bring foundation board members, on site, to help deliver grants to our teaching staff. When those board members saw our zero hour physical education classes taking place at 7:00 a.m. they recognized the importance of awarding educational grants to our Health and PE classes as well. Since that time, our PE classes have benefited by receiving heart rate monitors and iPads to increase personal health and fitness. In future years, the Foundation will be a strong supporter of other initiatives related to health and fitness at all of our educational sites.
Our buildings are open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. almost every day of the year. We want organizations and community members coming into our buildings. If individuals, and organizations, feel that we have gone out of our way to welcome them, then they will financially support our programs for years to come.