Many businesses are already on the health and wellness program bandwagon. Even universities are implementing strategies to improve employee health and employee satisfaction. Well, Charleston County school district, South Carolina, has focused on their own comprehensive wellness program designed specifically for teachers.
WCSC TV Channel 5 in Charleston reports that the program supports five categories of health for the school teachers and other employees. The focus is on: physical health; nutrition, social emotion health, family friendly policies, employee role models, and health and wellness partners. Partnering with the Charleston County Medical Society, the school district is getting medical experts, including doctors, on board to offer classes on health and nutrition.
With teachers and the medical community in a combined effort, Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley feels it will inspire and motivate students to become involved. "We believe if we get them involved at a young age in taking care of their own bodies, eating in a better way, exercising, and paying attention to that domain in life, we are changing lives, we're not just improving test scores, we're getting into the heart of it and changing the whole child."
At Charleston County Mitchell Elementary students are already participating in physical education, healthy eating, and exercise between daily lessons. These strategies, along with teacher and staff as role models, will help improve the students’ overall well-being.
According to McGinley, approximately one-third of the schools within the school district already initiated wellness programs.
New Hampshire is an example of the financial rewards of wellness programs. One of their school districts “recently used a wellness program to save enough money on healthcare costs to pay the salaries of eight teachers facing layoffs.”
It’s apparent that as more school districts realize the benefits of encouraging a healthy lifestyle they will certainly begin their own incentive programs to promote less absenteeism, workplace injuries, and help reduce teacher stress. And, as an added bonus, these programs will encourage students to follow suit.