Media Savvy by decree


									                               Media Savvy
         How to Generate Media Coverage for CSH Activities

Workshop Goal
To provide information and build skills so that CSH Coordinators feel more
confident about creating public awareness that supports achievement of their
Coordinated School Health goals.

Workshop Outline

How to Generate Media Coverage for CSH - Overview

Tips for Working with the News Media

Media Talking Points for CSH

Media Kit Tools
      Sample Press Release
      A Media Menu
      How to Develop a PR Plan
      How to Prepare News Releases and Public Service Announcements
      PR Plan Template
      Coordinated School Health PR Calendar template
      Creating Your Core Message
      State CSH Logo Policy
      CSH Website Tips
      Building Interview Skills – Sample Interview Questions with Answers
      Sample Bridging Statements

Practice Interview Session

Effectively Reaching Your Audience with Success Stories & Sample

Writing a Success Story

Informing Key Stakeholders
                    HOW TO GENERATE MEDIA
                      COVERAGE FOR CSH

At some point you will want to send information to the general public about your CSHP
activities. The easiest way to reach large numbers of people quickly is through the mass
media. However, not all editors and reporters share our point of view about our activities
and issues. For maximum results, you need to structure our message in a form that suits
their purposes as well as ours. This will vary according to the message and the target
audience. Be sure to coordinate your media efforts with your school system media
policy. Some larger school systems have a full time PR person that handles all
media relations.

What’s news?
Although most editors and reporters want to serve the public, they do not see
themselves primarily as educators. First and foremost, they want to capture the attention
of readers, listeners and viewers.

To a reporter news is something that is different, recent, and affects a lot of people in the
community where the reporter’s work is sold. Reporters like to build a story around: an
event; something an expert or well-known person has said or done; a warm human-
interest story or tragedy; a startling statistic or trend; a conflict or controversy.

Television reporters are most interested in stories with a strong visual element. Our job
is to satisfy the media’s need for drama and simplicity with a story that also contains a
positive and accurate message.

Often timing affects whether or not the media will take an interest in a story. If a dramatic
event – such as a disaster or major scandal – takes precedence, the reporter you
cultivated so carefully may be reassigned at the last minute. If your story is linked to a
theme already receiving a great deal of media attention, you may have an easier time.
But if you schedule your event too close to a media deadline or in an inaccessible place,
reporters will have other priorities.

Before you can know how to present your message to the public, you should decide:
                   exactly what you need to say
                   who you want to reach with your message

To attract participants to an event, you don’t always use the mass media; a flier or
mailing might do. However, you might also want to encourage the local news media to
cover the event. In that case, you need to send an interesting but very brief
announcement, called a media advisory, the week before your event. The media
advisory can be faxed or sent by e-mail. You can also have a news release available to
distribute at the event and to send to any reporters who did not attend.

For program news, a news release will suffice to spur the interest of reporters. Big city
newspapers and local television or radio stations will assign their own reporters to cover
the story. Small-town papers are more likely to reprint the story just as you wrote it, or

may ask the local program office for some information about how the subject affects their
community. Most radio stations cannot afford to send staff outside the station to cover
the news, but may call you for a brief statement on tape. To publicize events, ask if the
station has a community calendar.

To reach newspaper readers with a message guaranteed to reflect your point of view,
submit a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece (a guest column, usually printed opposite
editorials). Set up a visit to the editor so you can explain in person why your statem ent
should be published.

It’s wise not to rely on the newspapers and broadcast news departments to reach all the
people you need to communicate with. Radio public service announcements and radio
or TV talk shows are important sources of information for many people. For these news
outlets, contact the public affairs director at radio and TV stations – this is usually not the
same person as the news director.

Time and budget limitations may also determine your choice of media. If you don’t have
a five-figure production budget, you probably won’t be able to produce an original
television spot. You may be able to adapt a spot produced elsewhere, or persuade a
station to adopt your issue for a campaign of their own; in which case they may be
willing to contribute the production.

Finally, don’t forget grassroots media such as minority press, civic and corporate
newsletters, church bulletins, posters and fliers. These venues can reach target
audiences most efficiently.

Remember to thank members of the media for helping you spread the message about
your health issue, program or event.

Keep a scrapbook of all media stories to document your public relations

Types of Potential Media Stories

New CSH grant recipient                      Tie in to Current National or State Story
Program Success                              Program Honor
Special Event                                Additional Grant/Funding Awarded
Local Survey Results                         Volunteer Recognition
Politician or other Dignitary Visit          Tie in to a Nationally Declared Day, Week or Month

General Educational Tips on Health Topics (youth fitness, physical activity, good
nutrition, violence prevention, asset building for youth, parenting tips, etc.)

                Source: Adapted from a handout created by the Georgia Division of Public Health

                      Tips for Working with the News Media

1) Identify one spokesperson/media coordinator for your Coordinated School Health initiative.

2) Coordinate all media activities through this spokesperson.

3) Recruit public relations professionals, reporters, editors to become members of your School
   Health Advisory Committee.

4) Develop a Public Relations Plan for the year.

5) If your story is connected to a larger state issue, contact Sara Smith at 514-253-4664 for
   support and tie-in information.

6) Find out what your local school system media protocols are and follow them.

                                     Interview Preparation
1) Formulate and write down three or four points you want to make in the interview.

2) Anticipate possible questions and prepare answers that reinforce your main points.

3) Learn about your interviewer, the interview format and the media outlet where your
   comments will appear.

4) Ask if they are on a deadline and if so, what is it? Try to meet their deadline if at all possible.

                                            Be Honest
1) Talk about only what you know. If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply say so.
   Offer to find out the information and get back with the reporter.

2) Never lie to the news media. Always tell the truth.

3) Answer questions asked, using your key points as appropriate. Don’t volunteer other
   information unless it would help you better present your key points.

4) Nothing is ―off the record‖

                                              Be Clear
1) Avoid technical terms and acronyms. Keep it simple. Reporters are typically on general
   assignments. They don’t speak our language. Explain in simple terms and short sentences
   – they’re looking for sound bites and quotes.

2) Don’t make assumptions – either about the interviewer’s knowledge or about a subject with
   which you are not familiar.

                                         Be Accessible
1) Don’t hide from the media. Return calls promptly, even if you are unsure of their purpose.

2) But, take time to think. Don’t answer a media question, either during an interview or
   later in the day, until you are clear as to what your answer will be and are sure it is

                                        Be Professional
No matter what, always remain calm and control your temper, regardless of how aggressive or
hostile the questioning.

1) After your media interview is published or airs on radio or television, be sure and thank the
   reporter for being interested in school health issues.

2) Keep a scrapbook of all media coverage for your CSH initiative.

                                Media Interview Techniques
1) Bridge all answers to a point you wish to make. Answer the question asked, and then use a
   transitional phrase to ―bridge‖ to your point.

2) Don’t repeat negative statements. Answer a negatively-phrased question with out repeating
   the negative information.

3) Listen to the entire question before answering.

4) Answer in simple, brief sentences that can stand alone.

5) Be conversational. Speak with confidence in a pleasant tone.

6) Speak to your publics (parents, health professionals, youth, etc.)

7) Stick to what you know about, not conjecture. Don’t try to explain someone else’s motivation.
   If you don’t know the answer or are uncomfortable about the question, just say ―I don’t know‖
   or ―I am uncomfortable with that question‖.

8) Correct wrong information stated in questions. Do this before answering the question.
   Otherwise, viewers/readers/listeners will assume the wrong information is correct.

9) Answer hypothetical questions very carefully, if at all. Sometimes it makes sense to answer a
   ―what if‖ question. Often, it doesn’t. It’s ok to say you can’t predict the future or, even, to deny
   the probability of a ―what if‖ situation, if you are confident in your facts.

 If you have any media questions, contact Sara Smith, State Coordinator,
Office of Coordinated School Health, Tennessee Department of Education


                      Tennessee Coordinated School Health Initiative
                                  MEDIA TALKING POINTS

Core universal message: Health risk behaviors lead to chronic disease and reduced academic

Core solution to the problem: The implementation of a quality coordinated school health
program reduces health risk behaviors and increases academic success.

Use terminology that is aligned with the goals of education.
Healthy Students, Achieving Students
Healthy Students Learn Better
Reduce education disparities by reducing health disparities
School improvement comes with improving student health
Positive school climate promotes achieving students

Coordinated School Health (CSH) is a systematic approach to ensure that a school community
effectively links health with educational success.

Based on the past six year’s success of the ten Coordinated School Health pilots sites, the CSH
initiative has been expanded to provide all Tennessee students with the opportunity to develop
life skills that promote their health as well as increase their academic achievements.

Some of the benefits of CSH as reported from the 10 pilot sites data include:
    Improved nurse to student ratios
    Increased class time instead of being sent home for illness
    Reduced absenteeism
    Increased access to health care services
    Students have acquired additional information & skills for making healthy decisions for life

CSH initiatives provide school administrators and teachers with the support they need to educate
students to their fullest potential. We know that a healthy student is a student capable of taking
the best advantage of academic opportunities.

The CSH approach utilizes community partnerships to achieve system and community change so
that students are fully supported to achieve wellness as well as academic success.

With approximately 43 percent of all Tennessee children being at risk for overweight or
overweight, a new school emphasis on improving student health status through implementation of
the CSH approach, is essential to stem the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes,
strokes and heart disease.

CSH is a part of Governor Bredesen’s Project Diabetes initiative through the CSH focus on
increasing physical activity and health eating behaviors.

The CSH school system grant funds a coordinator and an assistant to implement CSH laws and
state standards and guidelines effectively. The CSH grant for school systems is not time limited,
rather will recur indefinitely unless the General Assembly makes changes in the allotment for

CSH expansion legislation was passed with broad General Assembly support in 2006.

                           Sample Press Release
                          (Use Your School System Letterhead)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            Contact: (Coordinator’s Name)
Date:                                                            Phone:

        (Your School System) Receives Coordinated School Health Grant!

(Your City), TN – (Your School System) is pleased to announce the receipt of $________ from the
Tennessee Department of Education, Office of Coordinated School Health. Funds were
appropriated by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2006 to expand the Coordinated School
Health initiative to all school systems in Tennessee with passage of the Coordinated School Health
Expansion and Physical Activity Law (Public Chapter 1001).

We know that the physical, social, and emotional health of students can support or hinder their
academic success and their subsequent success in life. State and national data reveal that many
Tennessee students engage in unhealthy behaviors that are detrimental to both their health and
academic success. Additionally, data indicates that school environments are not always as
supportive of students’ health as they could be. Yet, in spite of these and other challenges,
Tennessee schools can have a powerful influence on students’ wellness.

Tennessee utilizes the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health
(CSH) model. This model uses a systematic approach to ensure that a school community
effectively links health with educational success. The eight components of CSH are: Health
Education, Physical Education, Student/Family/Community Involvement, Health Services, Nutrition
Services, Healthy School Environment, Health Promotion for Staff, and Counseling, Psychological
and Social Services. Although these components are listed separately, it is their composite that
allows CSH to have significant impact. CSH is implemented in a way that fits the unique needs and
resources of a school community.

“The Coordinated School Health model is one of the best programs in the nation for providing an
excellent health education for an entire school community,” said Education Commissioner Lana
Seivers. “In order to provide a quality education to all of students, educators must ensure that
children have the resources available to address their overall health and ability to learn.”

(Add quotes from your Director of Schools and/or the Chair of your School Board)

(Add a paragraph about your plans to address school health for your school system this next year,
might want to put in a sentence about wanting interested community members for your School
Health Advisory Committee.)

For more information, contact (Coordinator’s name) at (Coordinator’s phone number) or
(Coordinator’s e mail address)

                                                 # # #

                                 A Media Menu

   Medium         Method             Best Uses              Pros                 Cons
Radio           Talk show           give advice;       Popular; cheap,    Call-in questions
                                   explore issues      quick, may edit    can be difficult; if
                                                                            live, what you
                                                                           say is what you
                   PSA             Announce event          Cheap            must be brief;
                                   or service; give                          can’t control
                                     brief advice                                airing
               News show           Announce event       quick, cheap       extremely brief
                                      or service;
                                     respond to
Television      Talk show         Give advice;         Popular; quick,    call-in questions
                                  explore issues           cheap          can be difficult;
                                                                           how you look
                                                                           matters; rarely
                   PSA            Announce event        high impact       very expensive;
                                   or service; give                         can’t control
                                     brief advice                               airing
                   News           Respond to event      quick, cheap;        difficult to
                                   or controversy;    high impact; uses   control; how you
                                     make issue             visuals        look matters,
                                        visible                               very brief
              Cable calendar       Announce event       quick, cheap       small audience;
                                     or service                             poor quality
                  Video            Affect feelings;     high impact;       need audience
                                   explore issues     specific audience      watching
Newspaper        Release           Publicize event       Accuracy;        may not be used;
                                     or program;         permanent        must be concise;
                                   stimulate local         record           well written
                                   stories; human
              Media advisory      Announce event;         Concise             very brief
                                  attract coverage
              Letter to editor    Explain issue or     You control it;    may seem self-
                                  express opinion         popular              serving
               op-ed piece        in-depth view of     You control it;    may not be used
                                        issue             prestige             or read
Other            Posters          Announce event      Low literacy; eye   must be simple;
                                     or program;      catching; easy to   distribution can
                                  promote an idea          target           be complex
              Billboards, bus           Same           Easy to target        expensive
               Newsletters              Same           Easy to target,    Limited range
             Church bulletins                              cheap

                     How to Develop a PR Plan

List Goals

Write a short statement describing your goals for a PR Campaign.

Identify Target Audiences

Clarify the groups of people that you want to receive your PR messages. Prioritize your
audience. It is rare when budget or time allows you to impact each equally.

Develop Your Message for Target Audiences

Create a one-page core message that describes your CSHP program. If you have
different messages for different target groups, link the appropriate message to the
appropriate group.


List all media and public relations resources that are available in your community. List
any media gatekeepers that you do not have a relationship with as well as any
volunteers or other community professionals that might assist in the implementation of
the PR plan.

Determine Strategies and Vehicles Needed to Implement Plan

Strategies:   Form PR committee, recruit and train volunteers, develop speakers
              bureau, special events, etc.
Vehicles:     Newsletter, Public Service Announcements, editorials, flyers, etc.

Create a PR Calendar

Outline PR strategies on a monthly basis over one year timeframe. Oftentimes there are
other school or community events or special designated days that will determine when
you do what.

              How to Prepare News Releases
            and Public Service Announcements

                                News Releases

The news release is the primary means of communicating with the media. Here
are some guidelines for news release preparation:

Make it newsworthy – A typical news editor receives hundreds of releases a
day. The clutter is mind boggling. Unless the editor sees the relevance of your
story to his/her readership quickly and clearly, your release will not be noticed
and the next one you send might be ignored entirely.

Be prepared for severe editing – News releases are rarely printed verbatim.

News Releases should not exceed 2 pages unless there is a good reason.

Limit paragraphs to 30 words – Newspaper style dictates there be one idea to
a sentence. One or two sentences to a paragraph.

Include the 5 “W’s and an H” – Make sure your release provides the following
information completely and clearly: Who, What, When, Why, Where and How.

Make sure most, if not all, of the five W’s and an H are answered in the lead
– The first sentence of a news release – the lead- summarizes the major facts of
your story. It is usually one sentence and no more than two sentences. It is a
capsule expression of the story’s strongest element. The rest of your release
supports or summarizes the facts stated in the lead.

Always include a headline - Type it all in caps.

Important format elements – Your heading should always include at least one
contact person and phone number. Indicate release date as well as well as ―For
immediate release‖. Also, indicate if there is a photo enclosed or if there is a
photo opportunity. Always review release for typos or spelling errors. Never use
the back of a page. Always type (more) at the bottom of the page if there is a
second page.

Eliminate the unnecessary – This is the time for tight writing not flowery prose
or in-house jargon. Eliminate as many adjectives as possible.

Lead time – This is the time a publication needs between receiving your news
release and using it in a print publication. Usually one week is good for most daily
papers. However, the best policy is to contact the editor for specific deadlines.

                      Public Service Announcements

Public Service Announcements (P.S.A.’s) should be written within a short time
frame of 15, 30 or 60 seconds.

Depending on the media outlet, you may want to supply P.S.A.’s in each time

Radio P.S.A. - Check with the radio station director or disk jockey to clarify their
P.S.A. format needs. Some radio stations prefer ―copy only‖ so the station’s on-
air personality can read the P.S.A. live. Other radio stations prefer a precut
P.S.A. If this is the case, you can ask the station if they would be willing to
provide voice talent and production services. If they are not interested, seek local
support to produce the radio P.S.A. If you purchase a preproduced P.S.A., see if
the station can add a tag line at the end to localize your project.

TV P.S.A. – It is costly and time consuming to produce TV P.S.A.’s. If your TV
station is willing to donate the production and airtime . . . great. If not, see if there
are some quality preproduced P.S.A.’s that you could purchase and then add a
local tag to the spot.

All copy should be written clearly without the use of slang or professional jargon.

Always end your P.S.A. with a call for action:

       ―For more information – call 327-4455.‖
       ―Join us on July 25th at the Fairgrounds.‖
       ―Attend this workshop on August 5th at Edmunds School‖

Try to get radio and TV stations to commit to airing your P.S.A.’s at suitable times
during the day or night. For instance, if you want to reach teenagers, consider
airing spots between 3 and 6 p.m. and between 9 and 12 p.m.

                     Coordinated School Health
                       Public Relations Plan


Target Audiences




Strategies to Reach Each Audience/Goal

       Coordinated School Health PR Calendar











                  Coordinated School Health
                       Core Message

Develop a concise, one-page description of your CSH initiative. Include a
description of your CSH mission, goals, and values. Describe why school health
is important for students and school staff as well as members of your community.
Include name of contact person and their phone number.


                       State CSH Logo Policy

The Office of Coordinated School Health encourages the use of the state
Coordinated School Health logo on all printed materials that local school systems
develop for their local CSH initiative. This ―branding‖ will help reinforce efforts at
the state level to increase public awareness about the breadth of Coordinated
School Health in Tennessee. Also, this ―branding‖ will help generate the public
will necessary to continue efforts to expand and reform school health initiatives in
our state.

                                Web Page Tips

Suggested items for any local CSH website include:

CSH State Laws

CSH State Standards and Guidelines

CSH 8 component model

Local CSH contact information

Link to state CSH website

State CSH logo

Local Success Stories

Calendar of local events

List of CSH Committees and their members

List of CSH Community Partners

Link to County Health Department

School Health Spotlight – a monthly highlight of an outstanding student, staff
person or group who is working on school health issues.


                            State CSH Web Site


                 CSH Sample Interview Questions

What is Coordinated School Health (CSH)?
The CDC’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) model is a systematic approach that ensures that a
school community effectively links health with educational success. Although these components
are listed separately, it is their composite that allows CSH to have significant impact. CSH is
implemented in a way that fits the unique needs and resources of a school community. The eight
components of CSH are:               Health Education, Physical Education/Activity, Student/
Family/Community Involvement, Health Services, Nutrition Services, Healthy School
Environment, Health Promotion for Staff, and Counseling, Psychological and Social Services.

What are CSH priorities?
CSH priorities include: increasing students ’physical activity and healthy eating behaviors,
providing students with comprehensive health education, and supporting the Governor’s Project
Diabetes initiative.

Why do we need this for our school system?
We need to increase healthy eating habits and physical education/activity to counteract sedentary
lifestyles and prevent chronic disease, specifically diabetes. 43% of all Tennessee students are
either at-risk for overweight or are overweight.

What age groups are targeted and why?
This will vary by school system.

What are the most effective strategies to improve student health?
Employ a full time CSH coordinator, establish School Health Advisory Councils and Healthy
School Teams, conduct a school assessment using the School Health Index tool, expand
community involvement, promote staff development/wellness and evaluate CSH efforts.

By this time next year, what changes do you hope to see in our schools as a
result of the CSH initiative?
We know that years living an unhealthy lifestyle will take time to change, but we must start now if
we are ever going to reverse course. We hope to see improved nurse to student ratios, increased
class time instead of being sent home for illness, reduced absenteeism, increased access to
health care services, and students acquiring additional information & skills for making healthy
decisions for life.

How will school staff benefit from having a coordinated school health initiative?
The staff wellness component of CSH will provide a forum where new awareness about health
issues is provided to school staff. Opportunities and resources will be provided to school staff so
they can live healthier lifestyles. This will result in teachers/staff being happier, healthier, and
needing fewer sick leaves.

Do you have any community partners working with the school system? What are
they contributing?
This answer will vary depending on the school system. All school systems should have
community partners as active members of their school health advisory committee.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
(Have you covered all of your talking points?)

                    Sample Bridging Statements

And what’s most important to know is ………..

However, what is more important to look at is …….

However, the real issue here is …….

And what this all means is ……..

With this in mind, if we look at the bigger picture …….

If we take a broader perspective …….

Let me out this in perspective by saying …….

What all this information tells me is …….

Before we continue, let me emphasize …….

This is an important point because …….

The heart of the matter is ……
Let me just add to this, that …….

I think it would be more correct to say …….

Let me point out again …….

Let me emphasize again …….

Before we leave this subject, let me add that …….

What I’ve said comes down to this …….

Here’s the real issue …….

While ____________ is important, it’s also important to remember …….

It is true, but what is also true …….

The question that should be asked …….

What is really at stake here is …….

The over-riding thing you need to know is …….

But the bottom line is …….

             Interview Questions for Role Play

Tell me about Coordinated School Health …. what is it?

How is this project funded? What do funds pay for?

What plans do you have for this school year?

Can anyone really change a person’s lifestyle habits?

Who else is working with you on this project?

Do you have anything else to say?

                 Effectively Reaching Your
               Audience with Success Stories
• Identify your audience

• Determine the needs or interests of your audience

• Tailor your success story to meet their needs

     Components of a Compelling Success Story

• Problem overview
– Describe problem and why it’s important (use data when available)
– Specify affected populations, economic impact

• Program description
– Outline steps taken to implement program
– Identify who, what, when, and where
– Link to CDC/DASH funding

• Documentation of impact
– Clearly describe outcomes of program and associated impact
   – Provide context for why impact is important

             Distinguishing Compelling Impact
                  from Activities & Outputs
Hosted a symposium to provide policy guidance to school district teams

Fifty teams indicated on a post-training evaluation that they would likely use the
information received to develop district policy

Compelling Impact:
Twenty of the fifty district teams adopted a new (or strengthened an existing)
tobacco-free school policy

CDC/DASH and TN OCSH Success Story Template
Note: Each of the core sections of the template is followed by a Self-check, which includes a list of the
components of a compelling success story. The intent of the Self-check is for you to be able to compare
what you’ve written with the components, so that you can decide if additional information would make the
story more compelling. Your story does not need to include information to address every individual
component, but should include enough information to make it compelling. Suggestions to improve this
template are welcomed!


SELF-CHECK – Does the title of your success story
    □    Capture the reader’s attention and entice the reader to read further?
    □    Avoid acronyms and abbreviations (unless spelled out at first reference)?
    □    Contain a verb/action?


SELF-CHECK – Does the description of the health problem
    □    Clearly describe the problem being addressed and why it’s important?
    □    Provide data specific to the state, city, or population served by your program?
    □    Specify the affected population(s)?
    □    Relate to the program being described?
    □    Provide an emotional hook in addition to the public health data (to encourage the reader to care
         about the problem and to learn how you addressed it)?
    □    Tie the health burden to a cost burden (if possible)?
    □    Include a strong lead sentence?
    □    Make a clear, concise statement about a single issue?
    □    Avoid wordiness, passive language, grammatical errors, and jargon?


SELF-CHECK – Does the description of your successful program/activity
    □   Describe how the initiative began and outline the steps taken to implement it?
    □   Identify who was involved, where the activity/event took place, and when it occurred?
    □   Include details about the contributions (fiscal, staff, technical assistance, other resources, etc.)
        from other partners, as well as those from the Tennessee Office of Coordinated School
    □   Describe how the progress of the program/activity is monitored or evaluated?
    □   Link the program to Tennessee OCSH grant funding?
    □   Avoid wordiness, passive language, grammatical errors, and jargon?


SELF-CHECK – Does the description of the impact of your program/activity
    □   Clearly describe outcomes of the program and associated impact?
    □   Provide context for why the impact is important? [Demonstrate the success of the program by
        providing specific details (e.g., money saved, data to illustrate change in health and/or education
        outcomes, numbers reached or impacted, maximized use of resources, evidence of support from
        community and key decision makers, change in policy, etc.]
    □   Relate back to the program description?
    □   Avoid broad, sweeping statements (such as “There was a noticeable increase in healthy eating
        habits” or “A significant amount of money was saved”)?
    □   Provide conclusions that effectively wrap up the story?


    □   Sample of materials produced
    □   Quote from Partner/Participant
    □   Press Release
    □   Promotional Materials
    □   Photo(s) of Project
    □   Video/Audio Clip
    □   Other, please explain: ______




    □   Yes
    □   No


9. CDC’s DASH P ROJECT OFFICER: (Will be filled in by TN OCSH staff)

10. Send this Success Story to:   Sara Smith, State Coordinator
                                  Office of Coordinated School Health, 5th Floor
                                  Tennessee Department of Education
                                  710 James Robertson Parkway
                                  Nashville, TN 37243



                               Sample Success Stories

       Investing in School Staff Health: Protecting the
    Workforce of Today to Nurture Our Youth for Tomorrow
                         Directors of Health Promotion and Education

Public Health Problem
School systems employ more than 4% of the U.S. workforce, totaling more than
6.7 million people. Although addressing the well-being of school children is a major concern
among health and education agencies, the nation historically under-emphasizes efforts to
maintain and improve the health of those caring for school children. Many private companies
have instituted worksite health promotion programs to improve the health and productivity of their
workers and reduce healthcare costs. Few school systems across the country, however, have
established employee wellness programs.

Program Example
In May 2007, the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE), with support from CDC,
released School Employee Wellness: A Guide for Protecting the Assets of Our Nation’s Schools.
This publication is the first comprehensive guide to provide information, practical tools, and
resources for school employee wellness programs. It is designed to help schools, school districts,
and states develop and support implementation of programs that promote employee health,
improve workforce productivity, and reduce the costs of employee absenteeism and healthcare.
The DHPE, an organization representing 66 directors of U.S. state and territorial health
departments and Indian Health Service health education units, conducts programs and promotes
policy development in numerous public health areas.

Implications and Impact
The School Employee Wellness Guide, developed in collaboration with many national health and
education groups, is a significant new resource for addressing the health of school employees.
Opportunities for school staff to improve their health status through health education, good
nutrition, and physical fitness activities can encourage their commitment to a healthy lifestyle and
foster support for the school’s overall coordinated health program. As staff improve their own
physical activity and dietary behaviors, they also serve as positive role models for students.

DHPE’s School Employee Wellness guide is an important tool for the educational environment.
The guide is being disseminated through a website ( and promoted
through national organizations, presentations, and meetings. In addition to providing
downloadable copies of the guide, the website features fact sheets, power point presentations,
and other resources. In the first 3 months following the guide’s release, more than 2,000 website
visitors registered to access the materials. DHPE will conduct a 6-month evaluation to determine
the initial impact and overall use of the guide.

         Interventions and Strategies to Improve Health
       and Increase Academic Performance Among Groups
                 Experiencing Health Disparities
                                    Gadsden County, Florida

Public Health Problem
In the United States, certain racial and ethnic populations suffer disproportionately from
preventable diseases, many of which result from health-related behaviors established during
childhood and adolescence. School programs that address risk behaviors among youth can help
improve the health of populations at risk for these health disparities. Coordinated School Health
Programs (CSHPs) are an effective way of accomplishing this goal. CSHPs focus on improving
quality and increasing coordination, resulting in a planned, organized, and comprehensive set of
courses, services, policies, and interventions that meet the health and safety needs of students in
grades K–12.

Program Example
Beginning in 2005, the CDC-funded state CSHP provided resources and technical assistance to
Gadsden County, Florida, to implement a districtwide CSHP. Gadsden County suffers
disproportionately from health disparities and academic challenges.

To begin the project, the school district formed a planning and advisory committee, Gadsden
County Wellness Approach to Community Health (G-WATCH). Next, every participating school
was required to complete the School Health Index (SHI) to identify its individual needs. G-
WATCH used the results of the SHI assessments to develop a coordinated school health
strategic plan that included 45 goals and emphasized nutrition education and physical activity.
The state CSHP gave each of the participating schools $2,000 yearly to maintain a Healthy
School Team to implement activities consistent with the district strategic plan.

Implications and Impact
After 1 year of implementation, G-WATCH accomplishments include:
     Adopting a district policy that encourages physical fitness and discourages employing or
         withholding physical activity as punishment.
     Providing a daily 15 minute recess for students in grades pre-K—5.
     Prohibiting sales of carbonated beverages during meal periods.
     Implementing meal schedules that comply with the Florida guideline of a
         20-minute seated eating time.

Effective CSHPs can increase adoption of health-enhancing behaviors, improve student and staff
health, and use resources more efficiently. In addition, research demonstrates that improving
health increases academic performance. Therefore, widespread adoption of the CSHP model
should help improve the health and academic performance of our nation’s youth.

                 Fighting the Obesity Epidemic:
     Collaborations to Improve the Health of Youth Through
                        Physical Activity
                                            West Virginia

Public Health Problem
Overweight and obesity influenced by physical inactivity and poor diet are associated with an
increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, and arthritis.
Overweight among U.S. children aged 6 to 11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Children and adolescents who are overweight are more likely to be overweight or obese as
adults. About 30% of West Virginia’s population is overweight, putting the state among the top
three in the United States coping with this major health risk.

Program Example
To address West Virginia’s high rate of overweight, the state Coordinated School Health
Program, supported by the CDC and Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), partnered
to leverage funding to improve the health of children in the state. BCBS contributed $60,000 to a
competitive grants process to fund physical activity and nutrition activities in elementary schools
between 2004 and 2007. The project aimed to establish a solid foundation for good health habits
that would extend into adolescence and adulthood. The program, ―Challenge for Healthier
Schools,‖ required schools to submit a plan for programs on physical activity or nutrition

Implications and Impact
Annual grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to 13 elementary schools during the 3-year period,
leveraging more than $140,000. Accomplishments include:
     Building a trail to connect the school grounds to the Rails-to-Trails system, resulting in
        students using the Rails-to-Trails system during the school day for physical education,
        recess, and class outings.
     Purchasing rollerblades and safety equipment for physical education class.

Overall, more than 2,200 students were exposed to physical activity and nutrition education
events during the first year of the program. Evaluation indicated that the events were successful
and well-received by both parents and youth.

Positive experiences with physical activity at a young age help lay the foundation for regular
physical activity throughout life. Joint public and private efforts underscore the collective benefits
that can be attained through innovative collaborations.

                 Informing Key Stakeholders


1. Whenever you have an event that you have invited media to cover, be sure
   and invite your key stakeholders also.

2. Key Stakeholders include your school board members, school
   administrators, local and regional elected officials, community partners on
   your School Health Advisory and Healthy School Teams committees,
   members of your Chamber of Commerce, school vendors, involved parents,
   and other community health professionals.

3. If they attend, be sure and thank them and ask if they need any additional
   information about your Coordinated School Health initiative.

4. It is helpful to have printed information about Coordinated School Health as
   handouts. For example, share the CSH rolodex cards with them.

5. A successful Coordinated School Health initiative is built upon numerous and
   strong community relationships that can help expand your school system’s
   capacity to address school health needs/issues.


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