Dear VES Families,

Greeting from the C.H.I.V.E.S. committee and welcome to a new and exciting school year at Vernon Elementary!
C.H.I.V.E.S. is an acronym for Community Health Initiatives at Vernon Elementary School. For those of you that have not heard of us we are a committee of teachers, staff members and parents that are committed to implementing initiatives that will further promote healthy lifestyles amongst all members of our school community.

The staggering increase in childhood obesity and lack of physical activity among our youth coupled with the significant number of children that are being diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes and elevated levels of cholesterol are among the reasons this committee was formed.

Many different components contribute to our overall general health. The focal point for the C.H.I.V.E.S. committee has been to take a closer look at the amount of physical activity that is offered at VES as well as reviewing the types of food our children are consuming to fuel to their minds and bodies. Past and present members have been instrumental in starting walking clubs, offering snow shoeing in the winter months and making a variety of supervised sports available during lunch recess. C.H.I.V.E.S., in partnership with Tim Walsh, has also been exploring ways in which we can improve food service.

Snacks and party food exist to re-energize tired minds and bodies with nutritious, tasty morsels to carry them until the next meal. Research has proven that snacks containing protein produce longer lasting fuel to the brain and enhance the learning process, while snacks high carbohydrate and sugar provide little to no nutritional value and raise blood sugar levels which cause weight gain and impairs thinking.

Room parents along with the classroom teacher are at the forefront of planning celebrations. These wonderful resourceful people are instrumental in providing safe, fun entertainment that will include games, crafts and an energizing healthy snack. Please support them in their efforts to offer a variety of foods (ie: creating that balance of fruits, vegetables and desserts) as we move forward together to educate our children in making healthy choices. The lifelong benefits and rewards are great in comparison to the small effort required.

As always, we encourage your feedback and welcome your involvement.
C.H.I.V.E.S. Committee

Following the Centers for Disease Control model for coordinating school health programs, Windham Southeast Supervisory Union has established site-based school teams to address issues related to improving overall student health and well-being. Representatives on these teams may include administrators, school nurses, classroom teachers, physical educators, counseling staff, food service professionals and parents. These site-based committees strategically plan to promote learning and adopting healthy behaviors, model and encourage life-long physical fitness, encourage healthful nutrition, and connect schools, parents and the community. If you are interested in joining, please contact Dawn Grobe at 254-5373 ext. 34 or by sending an email to dgrobe [@] wsesu [.] org.