As part of its ongoing initiatives to help improve the health and wellness of its employees, the Austin Independent School District is teaming up with two educational nonprofit organizations to offer free, nutritional workshops to district employees.
Staff members will have the opportunity to attend one of two six-hour workshops on either May 9-10 or May 11. The free workshops are valued at $250 per person, and will cover such topics as how branding can shape our shopping and eating habits, as well as provide easy-to-use strategies for making healthy choices.
The workshops are being offered through a partnership between AISD, the Whole Kids Foundation and FoodFight, a nonprofit organization that seeks to revolutionize how teachers and students think about food, consumerism and health.
Austin is among only six cities in the nation selected by the two nonprofits to participate in the Teacher Wellness Program workshops, which examine the social, political and economic forces that shape what we eat and offer strategies for improving health to help empower teachers and students to make healthier, conscious choices as consumers.
“As educators, we lead by example. By learning about healthy nutritional choices, we hope our employees can not only practice good health, but be good ambassadors to their students, colleagues, family and friends about the importance of healthy choices,” Tracy Lunoff, administrative supervisor of the district’s Department of Comprehensive Health Services, said.
The Teacher Wellness Program aims to reach 2,000 teachers and educators around the country. Other cities selected for the pilot program include Los Angeles, Calif., Boulder, Colo., and New Haven, Conn., and additional cities will be named in the coming months.
“Teachers have the power to profoundly influence students’ attitudes toward food and act as a powerful resource when it comes to ending our nation’s obesity epidemic,” said Carolyn Cohen, co-founder of FoodFight. “Together with Whole Kids Foundation, our goal is to arm teachers with the critical knowledge and tools they need to change their purchasing and eating habits and become role models for their students.”
AISD staff members can sign up for the free, six-hour workshops at https://pdcecampus.austinisd.org/login.html. A free, healthy box lunch will be provided to attendees and a Whole Food’s chef will demonstrate how to cook simple, affordable and healthy meals.
The workshops are among the district’s many initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellness of its employees. To learn more about these initiatives, visit www.austinisd.org/wellness.