Promoting Healthy Families, Schools, and Communities in New Jersey

FCHS Wellness Champions

Making a Difference in School Health

Photo: FCHS Wellness Chapions.How do you reach thousands of school students on a regular basis, create sustainable school wellness programs, and support the work of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) in schools? Recruit, train, and mentor FCHS Wellness Champions. A statewide TEAM Nutrition grant project, Grow Healthy, offered an opportunity to train 43 volunteers (two men and 41 women) to support both FCHS and the project in nine schools.

Each school recruited two or more parents or volunteers to become FCHS Wellness Champions. Then FCHS staff conducted two trainings in each school that included a review of obesity and healthy eating in youth, Cooperative Extension, project expectations, and how to teach two nutrition lessons. The champions taught two specific lessons, assisted teachers or FCHS staff with other lessons, served on the school wellness council, helped with the school's garden and/or helped with wellness events in their school. These volunteers have been enthusiastic supporters and educators in their schools. FCHS Wellness Champions volunteered over 560 hours during the first 6 months of the project.

Contact your local FCHS Educator to find out how you can volunteer.