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Donald Driver in gym

Driven to Better Health campaign names 6 finalists for Donald Driver visit

Last year, I teamed with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to create Driven to Better Health, a program that promotes health and wellness to Wisconsin’s youth in school and at home.

It was so gratifying when 150 schools across Wisconsin signed up to participate, agreeing to implement programs and activities that would encourage and sustain healthy eating and physical activity. I’m so proud of all the schools that joined us on this quest. I know because of leaders in these schools, kids are making healthier choices!

Driven to Better Health logoSix schools have been selected as finalists in the 2015 Driven to Better Health school-based contest, with the winning school receiving a personal visit from me. We made these final selections based on a number of factors, but it was the creativity and the overall reach of the programs that won us over. The winner will be announced Tuesday, May 26.

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order, along with a few of their wellness efforts:

Farmington Elementary School (Kewaskum)

  • Expanded the effort to the entire school district and displayed the strongest community outreach of any participating school
  • Started an in-school gardening program and had an organic farmer come in to teach tips
  • Created “Broccoli Man,” made out of vegetables and the students took pictures of Broccoli Man

Hopkins Lloyd Community School (Milwaukee)

  • Put on family nights that featured smoothies and “no salt” chef
  • Started a garden at school and then handed it over to the local church community to tend to while the school is not in session
  • Held a blindfolded taste test to give students a fun and exciting way to try new healthy foods

Lakeview Elementary School (Wind Lake)

  • Families submitted their favorite healthy recipe and the winner’s recipe was highlighted at a Jump Rope for Heart event
  • Created a Daily Wellness log that went to all students, encouraging them to track their successes
  • School staff put on a skit to help students learn how to make healthy after-school snack choices

Pittsville Elementary School (Pittsville)

  • Established a running club, with grades 1-4 meeting four days a week and running for 15 minutes a day
  • Got the kitchen staff involved by making healthy foods more fun with things like making apple sauce green on St. Patrick’s Day
  • The principal hid two Packers dolls around the school, and the students who found them received a healthy snack

Riverside Elementary School (Fond du Lac)

  • Created a student wellness team that helped plan weekly challenges for students
  • Held a “taste test a fish” event that led to students voting to serve baked white fish at school
  • Made sledding and shoveling equipment available for students to use during recess as a way to encourage staying active in the winter months

Sandhill Elementary School (Stoughton)

  • Provided a pedometer for each family to help them reach a physical activity goal, with 90 percent of families participating
  • Decided to continue health activities into the summer, despite Driven to Better Health having concluded
  • Created a time lapse video of their activity bulletin board filling up with all of their daily achievements

Thank you

It’s been an incredible first year for Driven to Better Health, thanks to the excitement and effort all the schools brought. Thanks again to all the schools that participated. If your school didn’t make it to the top six this year, be ready to sign up again in the fall — you could be next year’s winning school!

I’m also making a special visit to one lucky family who signs up for the family portion of Driven to Better Health this summer. To learn more about the summer family program, visit driventobetterhealth.com.

Donald Driver with his signature