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Child Health, Wellness Focus for Back-to-School Time; National PTA Provides Parents with Resources to Prepare for School Year


CHICAGO, Aug. 11 -- As millions of parents and children nationwide ready themselves for the busy back-to-school time, National PTA urges parents to focus on nutrition and physical activity for children.

“Research shows strong links between student achievement and student wellness, which includes physical activity and nutrition,” said National PTA President Anna Weselak. “Student wellness results in better attendance, higher levels of academic performance, and better attitudes about school.”

The new school year can be as nerve-wracking for parents as it is for children. Recognizing this, National PTA, with support from Proud Community Partner Office Depot and Proud Sponsor Campbell’s Labels for Education, has provided all 26,000 local PTAs with a Back-to-School kit. It’s packed with materials and program resources to implement year-round. The kit includes tools to increase parent and community involvement, materials to help PTAs promote good nutrition and physical activity, and teacher recognition ideas.

The cornerstone piece of the kit is “Healthy Lifestyles at Home and at School,” a notebook developed exclusively for PTAs. The notebook offers parent-friendly information and tools that local PTAs can use to improve student nutrition and wellness including how to establish a school wellness policy and actions for parents and schools to prevent childhood obesity.

“Historically, National PTA has always been concerned with the health and safety of all children,” said Weselak.

In 1946 PTA played a major role in enacting the “National School Lunch Act” and more recently PTA members passed two health and nutrition resolutions, “The Importance of Physical Education in Our Schools” and “Nutritional Eating Requirements in Our Schools to Combat Childhood Obesity.”

National PTA offers tips for parents, schools, and communities to promote and support healthy lifestyles at home and school. They include:

-- Schools -- Promote healthy foods in the cafeteria. Ensure that children and youth have the opportunities for physical activity during the school day. Reduce the amount of junk food that is available in vending machines, at sporting events, and during classroom celebrations.

-- Parents -- Serve as positive role models for children by improving their own eating and exercise habits. Incorporate physical activities into family routines. Provide repeated opportunities for children to try healthy foods.

-- Communities -- Encourage stores to make fresh fruits and vegetables available. Make parks and recreation centers a vital part of the community-accessible to everyone, open at convenient hours, and affordable for families.


With nearly 6 million members, National PTA is the largest volunteer parent organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1897, National PTA has prided itself on being a powerful voice for children, a relevant resource for parents, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in National PTA is open to anyone who is concerned with the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information about National PTA, visit


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