Making a Difference through Schoolsite Health Promotion and Wellness Programs

The Maine Department of Education hosted the 2016 Maine School Wellness Summit, Inspiring the Future!, at Bates College on June 22 and 23. Just over 100 participants representing 43 school administrative units and seven school-supporting organizations joined the conference.

Jump Rope for Fun & Fitness

The conference began with an engaging opening keynote by George Manning on leadership and relationship building. Participants learned the importance of understanding one’s own personality traits as well as those of the people they work with in order to be most effective. Participants went on to gather information and resources to support health promotion and wellness for staff, students and families; engaged in workshops to increase knowledge and build skills in leadership, workplace wellness, action planning, and many more health promotion and wellness topics. The closing keynote, David Lee, inspired all to be their best every day and to look for the good in others. Attendees participated in positive behavior skill building exercises and were challenged to bring out the best in themselves and those around them.

The overarching desired outcomes for the participants of the wellness summit, a component of the Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program, were: 1) to increase knowledge and building skills in the areas of leadership and teambuilding to foster successful Schoolsite Health Promotion and Wellness Teams; 2) enhance understanding of how to establish and maintain a culture of health and wellness in the workplace, create and support health-enhancing policies and practices; cultivate a healthy school environment; and enhance personal wellness for staff and students; 3) provide exposure to wellness related information, resources, and programming ideas through a vast array of exhibits, mini-demonstrations, and engaging sessions that benefit personal well-being, address health promoting policies, programs, and practices for a healthy school environment.; and make available opportunities throughout the event for networking with other teams and individuals to further expanded the knowledge-base and understanding of the importance of personal health and a healthy school environment for success!

The evaluations offered great feedback and ideas for future planning. The comments from the evaluations spoke volumes.

  • “This was one of the most engaging conferences I have attended! I left feeling energized and motivated and ready to take on wellness!”
  • “These summits are very helpful and insightful in providing wellness information and programs to staff and students. I also learn many new things, have lots of fun and meet new people.”
  • “The whole summit was amazing.”

When asked what the most positive feature of the wellness summit was:

  • “Both keynote speakers were fantastic! Really enjoyed the breakout sessions on various topics as well as the time to discuss how to implement wellness programs into the school!”
  • “Everything… the action planning time, table talks, educational sessions!”

Click here to review the agenda and read more about the Maine Department of Education’s Schoolsite Health Promotion Program.