2016 Grant Recipients

Crestwood Elementary, Madison - Ginny Hughes, Camille Zanoni

“Gardener in Residence Program” - educational gardening program

Glacial Drumlin School, Cottage Grove - Kelly Larsen

“Terracycling initiative” - reducing cafeteria waste through novel recycling programs

Enrich, Excel, Achieve Learning Academy, Wausau - Ben Kessler

“The Best You” nutrition, lifestyle, and gardening learning curriculum

Spring Harbor Middle School, Madison - Dave Ropa

“Positive Behavioral Support System” - behavioral modification through exposure to natural environments

Sandburg Elementary, Madison - Jennifer Wolfe

“Movin’ and Groovin - a kinesthetic classroom” - using movement based initiatives to improve performance in the classroom

Amery Inquiring Minds, Amery - Samantha Montana

“The Farm Feast Project” - organic farming, and healthy eating curriculum

Wausau East High School, Wausau - Paula Hase, Jessica Truax

“Standing Strong” - using micro-movements to reinforce lifelong healthy behaviors with the aid of standing desks and Wurf boards

2015 Grant Recipients

ThinkFirst Program, Core Knowledge Charter School - Verona, WI

Children and teens are at high-risk for brain and spinal cord injuries, many of which are preventable. The ThinkFirst program aims to increase awareness of brain and spinal cord injuries and methods of prevention for children and teens through scheduled educational seminars in public and charter schools. The program ties anatomy to injury prevention for greater comprehension, the ability to make safe choices, and encouragement of critical thinking. The program also offers direct communication with a health professional, and covers topics including the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord, as well as bicycle, pedestrian, playground, sports, and weapon safety.

Water Station Project, Dodgeville Elementary School - Dodgeville WI

The water station project aims to address the importance of hydration while combatting dehydration and steering students away from sugary drinks throughout the school day. The installation of water fountains as well as the distribution of reusable water bottles will give both students and staff a better opportunity to drink more water on a daily basis. The project hopes to see better school attendance due to improved health, increased student attention and improved grades, weight loss in staff and students who substitute water for sugary drinks, and a more environmentally conscious student body as they see how many water bottles they can save.

Cross-Country Ski Project, Lincoln Elementary School - Madison, WI

Introducing students to cross-country skiing as a form of exercise in the winter will be part of an overall effort of the school to integrate health and wellness activities for teachers and students, such as nutrition education, a healthy snack program, school lunch garden bar, running programs, and mindfulness training. Every class in the school will be able to participate in one-hour ski sessions, which will be volunteer-supported by the Madison Nordic Ski Club. Each class will spend at least two class sessions per winter outdoors on skis, learning basic moves, playing some learning games, and practicing downhill.

Mindfulness Project, John Muir Elementary School - Madison, WI

Children in the United States do not meet USDA guidelines for a healthy diet and are receiving home-cooked meals less frequently than in the past. The goal of the program is to increase the children’s exposure to and acceptance of healthy foods while teaching them food preparation techniques. Lessons vary from hand hygiene to basic cooking techniques and preparing healthy snacks. School-based nutrition lesson plans will be developed and led by Registered Dieticians, and will focus efforts on children identified by their teachers as students who would most benefit from nutrition education.

Nutrition Education Project, Mineral Point Middle and High School

During the fall of 2014, the Mineral Point school district will be launching an after school cooking club available to Middle and High School students. The program will run for five months totaling 10 sessions. Each session will have specific lessons plans that cover topics such as: proper kitchen knife skills, sourcing and selection of food, nutritional content, label reading, costs, preparation, storage, meal planning and presentation. Students will be taking a field trip to a grocery store as well as a local farmers market. Mineral Point is blessed with a plethora of talented farmers, chefs and culinary authors. We will definitely be utilizing our local resources. As the District school nurse for the past two years, I have had the opportunity to formally and informally survey students regarding their desire to learn food skills. Resoundingly they have voiced an interest.

Live It! Program, Columbus and Fall River Schools - Columbus, WI

The Live It! program aims to motivate students to make nutrient-rich food choices while performing physical activity to enhance the wellness of middle school children, typically aged 11-14 years old, within the rural community of Columbus and Fall River, Wisconsin. The curriculum consists of fourteen lessons; eleven nutrition based and three physical activity based lessons. Seven to eight classes participate each year; classes compete against one another each semester by earning points when completing in-class and take-home activities. The winning class wins a trip to the hospital for a healthy cooking class with our Executive Chef, Melissa Osterhoff.

Nutrition Education Project, Mt. Horeb Intermediate School - MT. Horeb, WI

Introducing students to cross-country skiing as a form of exercise in the winter will be part of an overall effort of the school to integrate health and wellness activities for teachers and students, such as nutrition education, a healthy snack program, school lunch garden bar, running programs, and mindfulness training. Every class in the school will be able to participate in one-hour ski sessions, which will be volunteer-supported by the Madison Nordic Ski Club. Each class will spend at least two class sessions per winter outdoors on skis, learning basic moves, playing some learning games, and practicing downhill.

2014 Grant Recipients

John Muir Elementary School Mindfulness Project - Betsy Scholz, Madison WI

Through the implementation of both large group and subgroup mindfulness programs in addition to the use of a new Muir Mindfulness Garden, this project aims to target the behavioral needs of Muir’s 2nd grade students. The program will decrease overall behavior referrals for 2nd grade students by 60% while supporting the use of school-wide mindfulness practices for all Muir students. The ultimate goal is that better developed social-emotional skills, increased exposure to and engagement with academics and improved school-community relationships will support positive student achievement.

Whitewater Unified School District Let’s Move Girls Program - Diana Hoffman, Whitewater WI

Regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps control weight, and reduces anxiety and stress as well as increases self-esteem. Using the BodyWorks Toolkit for Teens, the Let’s Move Girls Program aims to combat a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and low self-esteem in teenage girls who are undergoing many changes and may benefit from guidance in making healthy choices. Volunteers from UW-Whitewater serve as positive female role models while the girls engage in nutritional lesson plans and physical activities in 75-minute sessions.

Glendale Elementary School Exercise to Achievement Program - Katie Hensel, Madison WI

The Exercise to Achievement after-school program targets children of low to moderate income families and ethnic minorities to engage them in physical activity. The children will train for a triathlon or a mud run over the course of 8 weeks, with the goals of im- proving academic achievement and encouraging healthy lifestyles. The use of school staff as teachers creates built-in relationships with the students, and the fun and varied curriculum provides a tangible accomplishment at the end. This will not only combat the problem of obesity-related health problems, but take aim at the achievement gap in our schools.

Houlton Elementary School Greenhouse Project - Ellen Montgomery, Houlton WI

The Houlton Greenhouse Project is part of an ongoing garden project that seeks to en- courage the students’ gardening and healthy lifestyle enthusiasm by creating a proper greenhouse worthy of students’ commitment to gardening. The greenhouse will be used to support the Garden Club and Project, which provides multiple curricular and instructional opportunities that impact not only horticultural learning, but healthy lifestyle choices that will last a lifetime. Students learn about the water cycle and conservation in the rain garden, sample the fresh produce that they themselves have planted and harvested, and learn about composting as they see the concepts they have learned about coming to fruition.

2013 Grant recipients

Wisconsin Winters: Snowshoe It! - Sarah Shaw, Fitchburg, WI


This curriculum will combat winter inactivity of VAIS students by teaching them to how to snowshoe. Students will be able to identify parts of a snowshoe, how to put them on and take them off, and will learn the proper techniques of snowshoeing. This is important be- cause as a small school, VAIS has limited access to large indoor spaces and many physical activities cannot be done in a small space. Most physical activities are hard to do year round in snow and ice. Outside winter activities often call for lots of equipment, access to facilities, or appropriate locations to participate (hockey, ice-skating, skiing, and sledding). This program will provide one size fits all snowshoes for both students and staff to use to combat the winter blues, grumpy kids, and lower attention spans associated with less physical activity.

A Healthy Connection for a Healthier Community - Julie Esser, Mt. Horeb, WI

This program, A Healthy Connection for a Healthier Community, will provide a link between Mount Horeb Area School District (MHASD) and Miller and Sons Supermarket to increase awareness and consumption of fruits and vegetables by students and the community. This is important since the majority of Dane County adults, as well as Mount Horeb 7th-12th grade youth, eat less than the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This pro- gram will also enhance the current school garden and provide a connection to the school breakfast and lunch programs.

Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program - Amy Olejniczak, Madison, WI

The Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program is designed to help bridge the communication gap between health care providers and their teenage patients through em- powering and educational workshops given by youth for both youth and providers. Educating and counseling teens is foundational to sexual health care, yet less than 52% of teens have ever discussed their sexual history with a provider and less than a third have discussed birth control, STI testing, proper condom use. Many communication barriers and social stigma exist that interfere with the ability of providers and teens to talk about sexual health. In fact, it has been found that teens are the population at most risk for failed doctor patient relation- ships. Without proper training, health care providers are commonly not able to identify their teenage patients’ risk factors or to effectively counsel them after recognizing a problem. Thus, this innovative, teen-delivered educational program targets barriers that interfere with the ability of providers and teens to talk about sexual health, and works to systematically improve communication and increase quality of care through two educational work- shops: “Keeping it Real With Your Parents” and “Keeping it Real With Your Doctor”

Introduction to Life Saving Skills: First Aid, CPR, AED - William Chambers, Oregon, WI


This program is designed to provide classes in life saving skills to high school seniors at Black- hawk High School. The skills learned in this project will prepare students and staff to respond to life threatening illnesses or injuries. Currently, financial constraints within the school district’s budget only allow for a select number of seniors to take an optional class in First Aid, CPR, or AED. With this grant, the lifesaving and emergency medical class will be included as a requirement for all graduating seniors. With the nearest hospital 20 miles away from Black- hawk High School, these skills that students learn in assessing and navigating an emergency medical situation will help improve the safety of Blackhawk’s students, staff, and families.

2012 Grant Recipients

Empower! - Laura Killingsworth and Kristin McGinley, Madison, WI

A project meant to bring college students into elementary schools to talk to young students about their health, Empower! received a grant to help bring the University of Wisconsin – Madison based student organization, Water Health Education for Life (WHEL) into Madison suburban schools. WHEL on the UW campus works to emphasize the importance of water, health and education at a local and global level, and this program is one of their crucial steps to bringing their ideals to the local community. The intentions of Empower! are introduce the above structures of health to children in after school programs in Lowell Elementary and Lindbergh Elementary between October and May of 2012. Currently, with cuts to funding surrounding all aspects of after-school programs, this grant will provide an opportunity to students that they would not otherwise receive, and WHEL has partnered with Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) in order to most effectively reach the students. The five-week program at each school will provide interactive educational experiences surrounding the lessons of nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, personal safety and the environment. The final piece to the puzzle of this project is the involvement of the parents after each session through a worksheet brought home by the student to discuss what happened earlier that day in session. This inclusion of parents into the program further reaches out into the community and strengthens the aims of the project.

Project HeartMath - Sarah Reuter, Milwaukee, WI

With the increasing prevalence of technology in the classroom today, Project HeartMath is the perfect program to introduce to school children to assess their own stress levels and learn how to remedy them. The emWave Desktop is a scientifically validated heart-rate monitoring system that facilitates learning techniques to create an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-sync. The Desktop displays heart rhythm patterns in real time to show the user when the above high-performance state is reached, called coherence. Student will learn and practice the Quick Coherence Technique using the HeartMath software, in order to improve their own self-regulation, decrease stress and increase positive outlook in numerous classroom situations. Through an eight-week program, students and staff at Patriqu DuSaint School will learn how to use the software, practice Quick Coherence Techniques, identify the sources of stress in the classroom, address and stop these emotional triggers, learn how to conserve emotional energy, acknowledge the power of compassion and self-kindness, transform anger at home, and learn how to transition HeartMath techniques into the classroom. The sustained practice of the Quick Coherence Technique will help decrease aggression related incidents in school, while increasing the student’s ability to have positive social behaviors and increased learning in the classroom.

Preschool Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Lessons for Immigrant Children and Families who are English Language Learners - Rebecca Schwei, Madison, WI

A program targeted to immigrant children between the ages of 3-5 and their families will be activated in Centro Hispano Preschool over the course of 16 weeks. The intentions are to bring awareness to immigrant families about the nutrition available in the Madison area, teach young children how to help make healthy snacks, and provide opportunities for families to be physically active in the community, and improve their own health throughout the culmination of these actions. Each lesson will include a story with a health message, a physical activity, a classroom activity, all which will reinforce the importance of collaboration and involvement in owns own food preparation to prevent obesity. Lessons have exciting and intriguing titles, such as: A is for Apple, F is for Fun, P is for Picky, D is for Detective, and so on. Each family will also receive a “Read it and Eat it” cooking kit, which includes a short book, the recipe cooked in class that day, and one of the main ingredients for the students to take home. This kit and their inclusion in the classroom activities, will encourage the parents to cook with their children at home and bring the importance of healthy living from the classroom to daily lifestyle.

Improving the Communication Gap Surrounding Sexual Health in Rural Wisconsin - Amy Olejniczak, Madison, WI

A grant received by the Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program is being applied to the program “Improving the Communication Gap Surrounding Sexual Health in Rural Wisconsin”. The program targets health care providers and youth ages 14-19 in rural counties throughout Wisconsin. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap of communication between health care providers and youth about sexual health. Nearly half of all Wisconsin high schoolers are sexually active (45%) and only 61% used a condom during their last sexual encounter. Health care providers are a critical and reliable source of sexual health knowledge, however, surveys have shown that 52% of youth have not discussed their sexual history with their health provider despite wanting to. The program aims to bridge communication gap between youth and their health care providers through workshops. The workshops will empower teens to utilize their providers and teach health care providers how to effectively interact with their adolescent patients. After participation in the workshops, youth in rural Wisconsin will feel confident to take control of their own health and seek the knowledge they need to be their healthiest.

Healthy Eating… Good for Me, Good for the Earth - Michelle Denk, Mount Horeb, WI

The project “Healthy Eating… Good for Me, Good for the Earth” targets K-12 students in the Mount Horeb School District. The goal is to create an environmentally sound way to dispose of organic waste from the lunch program to educate students and improve the school gardens. This will be accomplished by introducing students to composting and separating waste in the lunch room. Students will then use composed fruit and vegetable scraps for worm bins and eventually school hoop houses and gardens. The addition of hoop houses and gardens will then increase the amount of fresh produce being grown in the school. A lesson will be given each month focusing on topic relevant to the program including “Measuring our Waste” and “How to Maximize Recycling Efforts” for a total of nine lessons. Outside of the lessons students will be directly participating in the recycling efforts.

Community Fitness - Joe Woodhouse, Cashton, WI

The grant was awarded Cashton High School to target high school PE students and community members who would like to try a fitness class without investing in equipment. The program will provide fitness classes that are available financially and within distance from community members. The grant will allow the high school to provide fitness equipment for PE classes for the next three years. This will also make equipment available to community members for fitness classes which will increase the number of participants by 10% over a year. The use of the equipment would be approximately two weeks a semester for high schoolers and four to 12 weeks for fitness classes. The addition of the equipment will increase the community’s fitness activity and overall health.