PUSD Farm to School
The PUSD Building a Healthy School Environment project started over 10 years ago. Our partnerships and coordination did not take root until 2013. The 3-pronged effort includes Playground Improvements at elementary schools, school gardens, and strategic partnerships.
With 65% of our PUSD eligible for Free and / or Reduced Meals, there is a strong need for a coordinated wellness effort. Overweight and obesity percentages in PUSD have shown steady improvements over the past 5 years; however preliminary 2016 data shows an increase in overweight and obese students as measured in 5th, 7th, and 9th grade. Peaceful Playgrounds, a playground improvement project involving the painting of games on the blacktop, increases opportunities for physical activity during free time. Elementary students can self-select active games and participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity in an unstructured setting. School gardens provide another venue to teach healthy eating, while integrating Science through an approved curriculum. Community and parental engagement have improved at schools with gardens. Strategic partnerships in PUSD around Building a Healthy School Environment have multiplied over the years.