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A Healthier Student Body With the Help of Project Teen Health

Project Teen Health is an on-campus club that provides workouts and nutritional coaching to Santa Maria students. In 2015 the club applied for a Youth Making Change Grant because of how negatively impacted students are by how the cafeteria makes their food and were very passionate in changing the way the cafeteria served and prepared their foods. The club got $2,500 from the grant. The grant was given to those who are trying to make healthy changes on campus and to students’ lives. The club’s wellness council was a result of the Youth Making Change grant.

This is the 3rd year Project Teen Health has been together; their goal is to start implementing the school wellness policy. With the funding from their grant, they were able to conduct a few surveys. One survey was done at school during lunch on May 18, 2016. The survey asked students’ opinions about the cafeteria food. After the surveys were filled out, the survey takers received a free cup of mixed fruit. The students who filled out the surveys were kept anonymous. A total of nearly 200 surveys were taken and the same amount of fruit cups were given. Project Teen Health is also currently running a 4-week program, called “Muevete,” each Monday through Thursday for an hour after school, from September 19 to October 13, as well as a Zumba class that meets after school Tuesdays and Thursdays all year long.

Along with surveys and classes, they’ve also been able to have a health fair every year for the last 2 years; Pad Climbing, the Department of Public Health of Santa Barbara County, and the CHC were a few of the multiple programs that were involved in the last few fairs. Another health fair is planned to be held in April, 2017.

On top of all that, Project Teen Health also has a wellness council, where they discuss changes they wish to make towards the school culture and strategize about how they will make those changes happen. About 20 people attended the first meeting of the year; some of those people include: John Davis, Assistant Superintendent; Jack Garvin, Board President; Joanne Benham, Director of Youth Programs of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo; Liz Castillejo, CHC Dietician; Maribel Pulido, club adviser of Project Teen Health; Alexis Leon, President of Project Teen Health; Marina Santiago, Secretary of Project Teen Health; and several other students. Staff, students, and community organizations who are interested in improving student wellness by implementing the school wellness policy are invited to the next Wellness Council meeting. Which will be on Wednesday, October 19, from 3:30-4:30pm, in the Corner Stone Community Room, next to the discovery room, near the Maldonado Center. If you want to be part of the movement to help our community, join Project Teen Health during lunch on Tuesdays in room 312.