The Macon County School System sent a grant proposal and was chosen to be one of these sites.
This provided for a coordinator, health educator and two nurse positions. Along with additional funding from a special education program (2.5 nurses) and a grant through Macon County Hospital (one nurse at Westside), Macon County became one of the few school systems to have a full-time nurse in every school.
Coordinated School Health (CSH) is an effective system designed to connect physical, emotional and social health with education.
This coordinated approach improves students' health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and schools working together.
The CSH approach consists of eight major components. By definition, all CSH components work together to improve the lives of students and their families.
Although these components are listed separately, it is their composite that allows CSH to have significant impact.
The eight components include health education, physical education/physical activity, health services, nutrition services, health promotion for staff, counseling and psychological services, healthy school environment and student/parent/community involvement.
This year, CSH has implemented the backpack program, which sends home a backpack full of food to each needy child in Macon County who may not have enough to eat over the weekend.
The program was launched in January thanks to Second Harvest Food Bank, which donated the money to provide 100 backpacks each week.
In February, Second Harvest found it had additional funds available and offered to provide the funds for 50 additional backpacks.
That same month, CSH received a grant from the Emergency Food and Shelter Board to provide an additional 30 backpacks, bringing their weekly total up to 180 backpacks each week.
Since the first backpacks were sent home on Jan. 15, CSH has distributed 2,887 backpacks.
CSH Director Jackie Sircy and Assistant Melissa Shrum hope that, with the success of the program this year, additional funding will be available for the expansion of the program. They credit this year’s success to the assistance received from volunteers and voluntary donations.
“Without monetary donations and volunteers to help pack and deliver the backpacks,” Sircy said, “this program would not have been as successful as it was.”
Sircy and Shrum encourage anyone who wishes to help to make a monetary donation to Macon Helps earmarked for the backpack program.
Although any donation is appreciated, they are able to obtain a greater amount of food with a monetary donation since they are able to purchase it at a discounted rate from Second Harvest.
The eight Components of a Coordinated School Health Partnership
Family and Community Involvement in Schools
This component involves partnerships among schools, families, community groups and individuals. It is designed to share and maximize resource in addressing the healthy development of students and their families.
Comprehensive School Health Education
Healthy principles are incorporated into each subject taught. Health education is a planned, sequential, pre K-12 curriculum and program that addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health.
Physical education is planned, sequential instruction that promotes lifelong physical activity.
School Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
Activities that focus on cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social needs of children and families.
School Health Services
School health services promote the health of students. School nurses are often the child's point of entry into the health care system.
School Nutrition Services
School nutrition services integrate nutritious meals with nutritious education promoting healthy dietary behaviors.
School Site Health Promotion for Staff
School site health promotion for staff is designed to maintain and improve the health and well being of school staff who serves as role models for students.
Healthy School Environment
A healthy school environment includes assurance of a safe place to learn, as well as a healthy and supportive environment that fosters learning.
This has been a condensed version of the definitions for the eight Components. Please go to the CSH web site for more information.: http://state.tn.us/education/schoolhealth/
Sircy and Shrum work with local and state agencies for additional funding and services for the health and well-being of students, staff, families and community.
Some examples of this are:
• Health screenings for students in second, fourth, sixth and eighth grades and high school students.
• Works with Lions Club and are members of the Lafayette Lioness Club for hearing and vision exams for students.
• Partnered with Regional Health Department to provide nutrition education to students and staff wellness at Westside Elementary, Lafayette Elementary and Fairlane Elementary Also provided dental exams and sealant.
• Staff health fairs that include blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI (body mass index).
• Flu shots for staff, and H1N1 shots for staff and students.
-Partnering with Macon County Hospital for diabetes education, nutrition education, health fairs and other health issues.
• Girlforce/Boyforce Day for all fifth grade students
• Abstinence program for both high schools and junior high through Cumberland Crisis Center.
• Members of the Macon County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Committee, which is currently pushing the Tennessee District Attorney's What's the Rush campaign
• Macon County, along with other Upper Cumberland Coordinators, partnered with Tennessee Tech to provide a physical education and nutrition inservice for teachers.
• Works with Tenndercare representative Linda Harper to provide information and services that Tenndercare provides.
• Serves on Macon County Community Advisory Board (CAB)