Community Concerns / Health


Community Concerns

Tom Nelson



Job Description for Health

Download the Health Job Description

The National PTA and California State PTA consider health education to be of major importance. Local units should promote health education.

Some ways to promote Physical, Mental and Emotional Health Education are to:

  • Help parents recognize and      respond to the health and nutrition needs of their children and families.
  • Encourage compliance with      mandated health education curriculum.
  • Work to improve health care      services, in particular the credentialed school nurse-to-student ratio, in      school and community.
  • Stress the concepts of wellness      and prevention.
  • Update and implement school      wellness policies.
  • Emphasize the importance of      healthy lifestyles and modeling these lifestyles for children.
  • Support and promote a healthy      school environment.
  • Make parents cognizant of and      responsive to environmental issues and hazards that may jeopardize the      health of children and families.
  • Ensure a comprehensive school      health program that integrates activities and services designed to promote      the optimal physical, emotional, social and educational development of      children and youth.

Recommended Action

  • Work with program chairman each      year to facilitate at least one PTA meeting about health topics.
  • Arrange to have a health      display table at PTA meetings. Distribute health materials.
  • Work with classroom teachers      and parents to secure alternatives to food as rewards.
  • Identify alternative ways to      celebrate school and non-school events by using non-food items.
  • Be sensitive to student and      adult special needs when planning PTA sponsored events including physical      accessibility and dietary needs such as food allergies; students with diabetes,      etc.
  • Ensure that the school complies      with the standards for physical education and recess for every student.
  • Promote physical education and      activity events throughout the community.
  • Encourage volunteerism in the      areas of student screening for hearing, vision, scoliosis, etc.
  • Request a line item in the PTA      budget for student health and welfare needs.
  • Support comprehensive health      education instruction at all grade levels, in compliance with the      California Standards for Health Education, including first aid,      cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and Automated External Defibrillator      (AED) training. See Education Code 51202.
  • Promote hand washing in      classrooms, especially prior to eating and after using the restroom.
  • Promote increased access to      fruits and vegetables and free, fresh drinking water.
  • Submit health-related articles      for unit newsletter. Ask the school nurse for articles and suggestions or      use health articles from State PTA publications, PTA allied agencies and      health websites.
  • Use social media to promote      health and wellness messages and tips.
  • Participate in ongoing health      projects of the National PTA and California State PTA.
  • Support health-related events,      such as Red Ribbon Week, National Immunization Month, School Nurse Day,      Children’s Health Month, Yellow Ribbon Month, National Nutrition Month,      Dental Health Month, World AIDS Day, and the Great American Smoke Out.
  • Work with local school      districts and statewide policymakers to ensure policies are enacted to      provide appropriate health leadership by credentialed school nurses,      including adoption of the recommended nurse-to-student ratio of 1-to-750.
  • Educate school staff and      families on the importance of healthy indoor air quality and its      relationship to student and staff health, academic achievement and      absenteeism.
  • Educate students, parents,      school personnel and the community about the high incidence of skin cancer      and recommended strategies for reducing risk for this disease.
  • Educate school staff and      families on the importance of comprehensive school health programs      including dental programs.
  • Encourage schools to implement      Public Access to Defibrillator Programs (PADs).

Additional Projects Might Include

  • Establish a School Health      Council.
  • Represent PTA on allied agency      committees and school district committees or task forces.
  • Plan a community or school      wellness fair including speakers, health-related demonstrations, displays      and video materials provided by local agencies (Community and Wellness      Fairs).
  • Advocate for school or      community fruit and vegetable gardens and farmer’s markets.
  • Encourage adult and youth      participation in first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes,      and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training, and Public Access to      Defibrillator Programs throughout the community.
  • Prepare and distribute a list      of community health agencies, hotlines for drug/alcohol abuse, child abuse,      and crisis intervention.
  • Support school-based      immunization programs and parent education related to the benefits of      immunization.