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Giving Thanks

November is one of my favorite months of year. Gone are the dog days of summer, here are the cool days of autumn which means warm apple cider and family evenings around the fireplace. November also brings my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. To me, Thanksgiving means family, good food, and wonderful memories. It’s everything our December holidays are but without the pressure of gift giving. Thanksgiving is simple; a time to give thanks, count our blessings, and tell loved one how much they mean to us.

This Thanksgiving, I invite you to thank our all too often unsung heroes, the school based wellness champion. In a majority of schools across our county, these teachers/staff members/parents wear this hat because they have a passion for wellness and want to make a positive difference in the lives of our children. Many times, they use their own extremely hard earned money to fund the physical activity and healthy eating programs at their schools because their schools haven’t dedicated money or resources to this sort of programming. Furthermore, these champions tend to work in isolation, feeling underappreciated and undervalued, driven simply by seeing the smiles on their students’ faces.

Your school based wellness champion doesn’t need money or gifts to thank them for a job well done, what they can use are words of appreciation. I’m a huge fan of a personal conversation followed up with an email expressing my appreciation, which I copy to just about anyone who might have any influence on this person’s career; their principal, assistant principal, school board member, superintendent, etc. Let these decision makers know the efforts of the wellness champions are changing this world and because of this, you appreciate them.

Pepto Thankful List

Whatever role you fill as you read this blog; parent, community member, business partner, etc., you have a loud and important voice in letting our school and district leaders know you believe in the power of school based wellness programming. Inform them that you’re thankful for those champions implementing the programming at your local schools and that you know your schools are better places because these champions are helping their students live healthier lives.

And by the way, I’m thankful you’re reading this because you also have the capability to change this world by empowering those around you with positive words.

Happy November!


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Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope.


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