Sample Letters - DOC by ye58M2

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									Sample letters to families regarding policy changes

This guide includes draft letters that you can edit as you please to communicate
with families about any changes you make regarding snacks, physical activity, or
screen time. Some letters contain different options for the language you could
use, depending on what your policy or practices are.

In addition, some of the letters have suggestions for flyers or other parent
communication materials you could use from the Food & Fun curriculum to
supplement the letter.

Enclosed you’ll find the following letters for you to adapt to suit your needs:

      -Letter explaining a ban on all outside foods and beverages
      -Letter explaining a ban on outside sugar-sweetened beverages only
      -Letter asking parents to only send in healthy snacks
      -Letter explaining drinking water policy
      -Letter explaining importance of physical activity in afterschool programs
      -Letter explaining reductions in screen time




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[SAMPLE LETTER—BAN ON ALL OUTSIDE FOODS AND BEVERAGES]


                                          Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

        We are writing to let you know about a change in our policies for snack time. Beginning on
[START DATE], only foods and drinks given by the snack program will be allowed. This means that kids
may no longer bring their own snacks and drinks (except children who cannot eat some foods due to
medical or religious reasons). We are also no longer letting any other programs or volunteers bring food
and drinks.

         We are starting this new policy because your child’s health and safety are important. This policy
helps us keep your children healthy and safe in many ways. Children often share or trade their snacks or
drinks. This policy will help stop kids with food allergies from eating another child’s snack that might
make them sick. The policy also keeps kids focused and stops jealousy or fights between kids if one child
wants another’s snack. Finally, the policy helps make sure that all kids at [PROGRAM NAME] get a
healthy snack every day. This will keep them full of energy and focused. We want kids to eat well for
their whole lives. This is one way to get help them start eating healthy early in life.

        To help us with this policy, please do not send your child to [PROGRAM NAME] with any foods
or drinks. If kids have any foods or drinks with them, staff will ask that they keep them in their bag until
pick-up. If your child cannot eat the snack given by the program for a medical or religious reason, please
speak with [NAME] at [PHONE or EMAIL].



                                                          Regards,

                                                          [name/title]




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[SAMPLE LETTER—BAN ON OUTSIDE SUGARY BEVERAGES ONLY]

                                         Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

         At [PROGRAM NAME], we want your children to be healthy and make good choices. We are
writing to you about a change in our snack policies. Beginning on [START DATE], sugar-sweetened drinks
will no longer be allowed at [PROGRAM NAME]. These include:

       Sodas
       Fruit drinks (lemonade, cranberry juice cocktail, or other drinks that are not 100% juice)
       Sweetened iced teas
       Sports drinks (like Gatorade)
       Energy drinks
       Sweetened waters (like Vitamin Water)

We will only serve low fat milk, 100% juice, and water. We are doing this because sugary drinks can add
a lot of extra calories without being good for your health. For example, a 12 ounce can of soda has about
10 teaspoons of sugar. By keeping sugary drinks out of the program, we can cut a lot of sugar from kids’
diets. We can also help them learn to choose healthier drinks.

         To help us with this policy, please do not send your child to [PROGRAM NAME] with any of the
sugary drinks listed above. We are also asking other programs who work with us to stop bringing sugary
drinks. If you choose to send your child in with an extra drink, please only send milk, plain water, or
100% juice. If children do have sugary drinks with them, staff will ask that they keep them in their bag
until pick-up.

       Thank you for your help. If you have any questions please contact [CONTACT NAME] at [PHONE
or EMAIL].



                                                         Regards,

                                                         [name/title]
Resources:
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer: Healthy Hydration
Food and Fun Unit 3: Be Sugar Smart
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[SAMPLE LETTER—ASKING PARENTS TO SEND IN HEALTHY SNACKS]

                                         Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

        We are writing to let you know about a change in our policies for snack time. Beginning on
[START DATE], we ask that children only bring in healthy foods if you choose to send snacks in with
children. This means that we would like children to eat healthy snacks, like fruits, vegetables, proteins
and whole grains. Please look at the attached list of snack foods that we think are healthy choices.

         We are starting this new policy because your child’s health is important. This new policy helps
make sure that all kids at [PROGRAM NAME] get a healthy snack every day that will keep them healthy,
full of energy and focused. We want kids to eat well for their whole lives. Through the Boston Public
School’s snack program, we try to provide the children with a healthy snack every day. We are also
asking that if other programs, volunteers or visitors who work with our children choose to bring in food,
that they also only bring in healthy food options. We ask that you help us with this policy by choosing
healthy foods to send in with your child.

       Thank you for your help. If you have any questions please contact [CONTACT NAME] at [PHONE
or EMAIL].



                                                          Regards,

                                                          [name/title]

Resources:
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer Healthy Snacking
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer Fruits and Veggies
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer Dietary Fats
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer Whole Grains
Food and Fun Unit 4: Go for good Fats
Food and Fun Unit 5: Whole Grains
Food and Fun Unit 6: Super Snacks
Food and Fun Unit 7: Fruits and Veggies Mix it Up

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[SAMPLE LETTER—EXPLAINING WATER POLICY]

                                         Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

        We are writing to let you know about a change in our snack policies. Starting on [START DATE],
we will be serving water at every snack, either alone or with other drinks (low fat milk or 100% juice).
The staff members at [PROGRAM NAME] will make sure that cups are given to children at snack each
day. They will also make sure children can drink water whenever they are thirsty.

        We are making this policy because we want to help your child stay healthy. Drinking lots of
water is important because it keeps kids from getting too thirsty without adding extra sugar. Serving
water every day helps kids learn that water is always a good choice when they are thirsty, whether it is
with a meal, a snack, or just by itself.

        To help us with this policy, you can talk to your child about healthy drinks. Let your kids know
that water is the best drink when we are thirsty. You can also serve and drink water at home.

       Thank you for your help. If you have any questions please contact [CONTACT NAME] at [PHONE
or EMAIL].

                                                         Regards,

                                                         [name/title]

Resources:
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer: Healthy Hydration
Food and Fun Unit 10: Hydration




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[SAMPLE LETTER—EXPLAINING IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY]


                                          Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

        The staff at [PROGRAM NAME] is excited to help your child learn, have fun, and grow up
healthy. Children need to play and be active every day to stay healthy. Physical activity can stop
children from getting sick with things like diabetes and heart disease when they are older. Activity can
also help kids sleep at night, stay focused at school, and have more energy. All of these things are
important to help your child do well in school.

         Experts say that children should get at least one hour of physical activity a day. Boston Public
Schools aim to give kids at least 30 minutes of active time during the school day. This could be in gym
class, recess or classroom activity breaks. Most kids still need at least 30 more minutes of activity after
the school day ends. We think our program can help kids get those 30 more minutes!.

[CHOOSE OPTIONS APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR SITE – you can pick none, some, or write your own – these
are only suggested additions – choose ones that would work for your specific program:]
             This year we will have more activities like [LIST OF ACTIVITIES THE SITE CURRENTLY OFFERS]
everyday. If you have a special skill (like basketball, dancing, or karate) and would like to volunteer to
teach a class, please let [CONTACT PERSON’S NAME AND PHONE/EMAIL] know.

        AND/OR

We are changing our schedule to make sure that every child gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity
each day.

        AND/OR

As part of this goal, we’re starting [INSERT IDEAS FROM LEARNING COMMUNITIES HERE – could include
things like clubs, dance programs, walking group, etc.]

        AND/OR




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This year we will also include fitness breaks during homework time. These breaks give kids more chances
to get moving during the program. Taking short breaks can help kids focus better on their work. Even
10-minute breaks of activity can make a difference!

        YOU COULD ALSO ADD…

When possible, we like to take the children outside to play. Please make sure to send them dressed for
having fun in the sun or the cold!

         You can help by talking to your child about the physical activities we offer and encouraging him
or her to join in. On the weekends, try visiting places like parks or playgrounds where your child can be
active. Or just get active at home! Take a walk around the block or dance around the house to get
everyone up and moving.

        If you have any questions please contact [CONTACT NAME] at [PHONE or EMAIL].



                                                         Regards,

                                                         [name/title]




Resources:
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer: Activate Your Family
Food and Fun Unit 2: Get Moving
Food and Fun Unit 9: Play Hard




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[SAMPLE LETTER—EXPLAINING SCREEN TIME POLICIES]


                                       Site letterhead here




Date

Dear Families,

       At [PROGRAM NAME], we hope to provide your child a safe, healthy, and fun time after-school.
We have been looking at our policies to see how we can keep your child healthy. We are writing to let
you know about a change in our policies for computers, video games, and television time. Beginning on
[START DATE]:

[CHOOSE OPTIONS RIGHT FOR YOUR SITE – you can pick none, some, or write your own – these are only
suggested additions – choose ones that would work for your specific program]


      TV and movies will no longer be shown as entertainment. Only educational TV programming
       (such as PBS’ Zoom) will be allowed. No more than 30 minutes of TV will be allowed each day.

       OR

      We will no longer be showing any TV or movies.

      Computer use will be limited to one hour each day. Our staff will make sure no child has too
       much time on the computer.

       OR

      During the program, children will only be allowed to use computers for homework. Each child
       will only be allowed to use a computer for 1 hour per day.

       YOU CAN ALSO ADD:

      Computer time is used only for educational games and homework. Internet use is not allowed
       during program hours.


We are starting this policy to help your child stay healthy and focused. Experts agree that kids should
not watch more than 1-2 hours of TV each day. Children should only watch educational TV made for kids
their age. When kids are watching TV, they are not being active, playing with other kids, or being
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creative. TV and the internet also show a lot of ads to kids. A lot of these ads are for unhealthy foods
and drinks.

        To help us with this policy, you can help your child enjoy other activities. If your child is unhappy
about having less TV or computer time, talk to them about other things they like to do. These activities
might be playing outside, talking with their friends, drawing, or playing a board game. Thank you for
your help. If you have any questions please contact [CONTACT NAME] at [PHONE or EMAIL].


                                                           Regards,

                                                           [name/title]

Resources:
Food and Fun Parent Info Flyer: Take Control of TV
Food and Fun Unit 8: Tune Out TV




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