SWITCH is designed to directly assist schools in meeting USDA Guidelines for school wellness. The focus is on building capacity helps to ensure that schools can sustain programming over time.
Promoting school wellness is a high priority for schools since research has clearly documented associations between healthy lifestyles and academic achievement. Schools value these associations but often find it hard to balance academic goals with wellness goals. SWITCH provides a simple and effective unifying framework that helps school create the type of learning environment that helps children perform to their potential.
A novel aspect of SWITCH is that it establishes a culture and social norm for healthy lifestyles within the school. Children can readily remember the mantra of “Switch what you Do, View and Chew” so the SWITCH name and motto can help schools integrate their school wellness programming under this personalized and empowering theme. For example, kids will be more likely to internalize healthy eating messages or activity promotion ideas when they are framed and branded with “SWITCH”. Because SWITCH also reaches parents, children will see common messages at home. The ability to engage parents is also critical for establishing a healthy and vibrant school community and culture.
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The Basis of SWITCH Programming