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New health curriculum coming to Niles schools

NILES, Mich. -  Schools in Niles have a new focus on students’ health this school year.

With new grant money, the district is adopting a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model.

Experts say this is a framework that improves student’s learning by showing the relationship between health and learning.

Niles Community Schools plans to do this with a new education curriculum called Michigan Model for Health.

It is research and evidence based, and meets health education standards

All Niles Community School teachers grades six through 12 were recently trained in this curriculum.

In addition, Ring Lardner Middle School will receive new health equipment including 60 balance balls and wobbly chairs.

Teachers will be able to request as needed in the upcoming school year in order to help students learn.

The Niles Community Schools Coordinated School Health Committee met on Monday to decide on the curriculum along with assistant superintendent Donna Roark.

“Effective coordinated school health programs actively involve parents, teachers, students, families and communities in their implementation,” said Roark. “The committee’s plan looks to achieve long-term results for our students, and aims to help them establish and maintain healthy personal and social behaviors.”

Evan Winkler, the assistant principal of Ring Lardner Middle School, said the school knows how hard it is for students to succeed if they have health issues.

“For that reason, it’s essential we incorporate a comprehensive health curriculum that drives academic success by mitigating risk factors,” he said.

A study by the Journal of School Health found students who went through this curriculum had better communication, emotional, and self-management skills.

They also had better knowledge and skills in physical activity and nutrition, and were less likely to use alcohol or tobacco.

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