The school plays an important role in supporting learners’ health and it will not be underscored that, although parents should be the first teachers, it is in the school where learners acquire Health Education lesson and experiences because most children stay in school for more than 8 hours a day, 5 days a weeks and from Kinder through grade 6 and adding 6 more years up to senior high school, they stay 13 years in school for basic education. Therefore, it makes sense to consider that schools are a place to implement school health programs like feeding, oral health care, physical fitness, renal diseases control programs (REDCOP), deworming and many more.
In our Pinget Elementary School, we have 14 recipients. These include the 9 wasted pupils and 5 from the 4Ps beneficiaries. Almost two percent of the school population. The number of recipients decreases because of our yearly feeding innovations. Through this program, school learners are being provided with nutritious menu. Lunch and snacks are being served for them. The funds are coming from Dep-Ed feeding fund and we are lucky that we had partnered with the Baguio City Host “Lions” Club, where other health necessities like multivitamins, other supplements and medicines are provided by the organization. It is also in these programs where the pupils learn simple table ethics like praying before meals, no talking of bad words in the table. Sharing and food conservation are also emphasized because no left overs are allowed.
After eating practices are also underscored. These include tooth brushing, washing of plates and tidying up the kitchen.
Through this feeding program, school dropout rate is minimized. Discipline is also introduced. Healthy dietary menus help students learn about healthy food choices. It has also positive impact in school performance, physical health, mental health, or overall well-being of our school children.
School nurse, feeding coordinators, parents and partners help hand in hand and play integral part to the success of the program. Truly, health, wellness and fitness of pupils are connected to their school.
In closing, an investment in healthy school children is an investment in student success. ANNABEL RUTH DOCLIS, Pinget Elementary School, Baguio City