Georgia PTA emphasizes health and wellness initiatives to help spread health as a priority in Georgia public schools.
The mission of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is “to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.” To make this mission a reality in Georgia, the Georgia PTA provides resources and support to empower and mobilize parents to advocate for initiatives and programs that support the academic success, health, and wellness of their children.
With research suggesting that healthier children are able to do better academically, are absent less from school, have improved focus and creativity in the classroom, and have the energy to sustain their daily assignments and activities, improving the health of students has always been a priority for the Georgia PTA. “The Georgia PTA president, Lisa-Marie Haygood, really believes in health and is very supportive in the work we’re doing,” says JoAnne Hammermaster, the Health and Wellness Chair at the Georgia PTA. “We want kids to be happy, healthy and strong so that they can be successful.”
In her role as the Health and Wellness chair, Hammermaster works to make information and resources readily available for parents and schools who are interested in advocating for and implementing health and wellness initiatives, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, farm to school, Power Up for 30, tobacco free schools, and healthy concession stands. Hammermaster provides the resources, news, grant information, and success stories via monthly “News Blasts”. With support from the Georgia PTA, local PTAs across the state have been able to successfully implement initiatives to improve the health of students in Georgia.
In addition to working with parents and local PTAs in various school communities, the Georgia PTA works with partners such as Georgia Shape to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. In September 2016, the Georgia PTA partnered with Georgia Shape, Walk Georgia, and Stone Mountain Memorial Association to host Georgia PTA Gets in Shape. Families, local PTA organizations, schools, scout troops, and other community groups joined together to hike up Stone Mountain to promote physical activity in Georgia.
The Georgia PTA also works with the national PTA organization to advocate and monitor policies related to child nutrition and health to ensure that policies are moving forward in schools to promote a healthy and successful student.
For more information on how parents and local PTAs can help promote and improve student health, contact JoAnne Hammermaster, Health and Wellness Chair at [email protected]. Visit the Georgia PTA’s health and wellness website to learn more about their health and wellness efforts, news, grant information, and school success stories at http://healthandwellness.georgiapta.org/.