Middle School Student Resources on Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability

The Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council has provided a new “Fuel Up to Play 60 Learning Plan” which offers classroom lessons to help middle school students discover more about staying active and healthy, being mindful, and pitching in to the make the planet greener.

Each set includes lessons, educator resources, and different student activities/assignments, and will:

  • Focus on agriculture and environmental sustainability.
  • Emphasize STEM learning, including Health, Science, Agriculture and SEL (social emotional learning) topics.
  • Align with national standards for grades 6-8 in science, social emotional learning, and health education.
  • Incorporate a high degree of individual goal-setting, responsible decision-making, and mindfulness.

These particular lessons, Farmers Fuel The World, discuss agricultural-related careers, environmental stewardship and sustainable food systems.

For more information, please contact: Catherine Hoffman, School Programs Manager, Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council / Maine Dairy Promotion Board, catherine@drinkmainemilk.org or 207-287-3621

WinterKids Winter Games 2022 – Applications Open Until October 31

The 5th annual WinterKids Winter Games are happening January 17-February 11, 2022 and they are going to be BIGGER than ever!

This 4-week competition is open to all PreK-8 schools in Maine. WinterKids will select one school per county (a total of 16 schools will compete for cash prizes) based on each school’s online application. Schools will compete in physical activity and nutrition challenges, working to accrue points to win GOLD! The theme this year is the Winter Games—our version of Olympic competition.

Early in December, each selected school will receive a comprehensive toolkit filled with PLAYBooks and weekly incentives for every student. Teacher packets will include the scoring rubric, community resource list, and supplies and materials necessary to complete the challenges.

Don’t worry, if your school is not selected, because EVERYONE will be able to play along at home or at school in our Play-Along Track for chances to win weekly prizes!

  • Week 1 schools will engage in physical activity challenges.
  • Week 2 is all about nutrition.
  • Week 3 the rest of the family gets involved because family engagement is the focus.
  • Week 4 the competition wraps up with an all-school winter carnival!

The winning school will earn a gold medal cash prize of $10,000. Silver earns $7,500 and the bronze medal school will receive a check for $5000. WinterKids is offering cash prizes to all 16 schools!

To learn more about the Winter Games (we have a Play-Along Track for individual classrooms or homeschool families) or to apply to compete, go to https://winterkids.org/winter-games/

Don’t Delay! The application is open until October 31.

For more information, contact WinterKids at 207.871.5700.


Notice of Concussion Workgroup (LD 104)

As directed by L.D. 104, An Act to Protect the Health of Student Athletes by Requiring the Department of Education to Report on the Incidence of Concussions which was signed into law by Governor Mills on March 17, 2021, the Department of Education’s Concussion Workgroup is expanding its work. The law requires that the Department work with the Maine Principals’ Association to use existing or new collection methods in order to report on the incidence of concussion in Maine schools. The Department, together with the Maine Principals’ Association is pleased to continue working with the Maine Association of School Nurses and Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) as the Concussion Workgroup. The recent directive from the Maine Legislature instructs the Department to report to the Education and Cultural Affairs Legislative Committee annually, beginning in January 2022, on any available data on the incidence of concussions sustained by student athletes in the state using existing or new data collection systems. The report must include recommendations on best practices for the collection of such data.

The Head Injury Tracker (HIT) was developed by MCMI 2013 with the goal of providing schools with an ability to identify high-risk activities for brain injuries by tracking patterns of concussions within their school systems. The HIT platform, available at no cost, provides schools with an easy, confidential, and secure method of collecting concussion data for their students. The HIT website serves many purposes including protecting the propriety and confidentiality of the data collected, providing a platform for reporting concussion data to the State, and potentially a tool for schools to compare their risk analysis with other schools throughout the state.

The HIT website was developed with the importance of concussion reporting in mind and can be easily implemented and utilized at all institutions throughout the state. The website allows for multiple individuals, not just the athletic trainer or school nurse, at a school to enter the data allowing for easy tracking and communication surrounding a student’s recovery. Additionally, the data collected from the HIT website can be used to detail the impact a head injury has on a student’s academic, athletic, and personal experiences. In order for us to identify the impact of concussion on students, we must collect data. As we learn more, we will work together in this ongoing effort to improve academic and social emotional outcomes for all students with head injuries.

The Concussion Workgroup looks forward to working together on this initiative with the understanding that this is a long-term effort to improve outcomes for students who experience head injury. Over the next several months you can expect to see more educational opportunities for school personnel on recognizing a head injury, documentation, and tracking with the Head Injury Tracker (HIT).   We are working to develop a cadre of 25 schools that will work toward implementation in the fall of 2021, knowing that the larger goal is for all schools to participate.

For more information on concussion management in Maine schools please visit: https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/safeschools/healthed/concussion

If you have questions about these efforts, please contact Emily.Poland@maine.gov .

MEDIA RELEASE: Three Maine Schools Win a Brand New $100K DON’T QUIT!® Fitness Center

Today, Governor Janet Mills and fitness icon Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), announced three Maine schools have won a state-of-the-art $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center. The multi-million dollar DON’T QUIT! Campaign has selected Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School in Deer Isle, Gorham Middle School in Gorham and SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft for new fitness centers in recognition of their commitment to the health of their students.

“The last year has proven just how important investing in the health of our students is to keeping our state strong,” said Governor Mills. “I congratulate these deserving schools on being selected to receive a state of the art fitness center and I thank them for their commitment to the health and well-being of Maine children. These centers would not be possible without the generosity of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils and Mr. Steinfeld and I thank them for their investment in the children of Maine.”

“We had an overwhelming response from elementary and middle schools throughout the great state of Maine. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of Governor Mills, who helped make this campaign a huge success by putting the health and well-being of children first,” said Mr. Steinfeld.  “Three schools really embodied our mission of building a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.  I’m thrilled to announce that Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School, Gorham Middle School and SeDoMoCha School are all being awarded a brand new $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center. Congratulations to all, we look forward to visiting these three schools during our ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall!”

Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Fitness in Motion provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured right here in the United States. The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

These state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers will be unveiled during ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall. This year, the NFGFC program will have completed 40 states and will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years.

For more information about the National Foundation, visit www.natgovfit.org.


The 2021 DON’T QUIT! Campaign Deadline EXTENDED!

One more week to sign up to be in the running for a $100,000 School Fitness Center

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) 2021 DON’T QUIT! Campaign has been extended to March 26th! There is now an additional week to sign up or be nominated.

A nomination puts schools in the running for a $100,000 Fitness Center that will be awarded to three Maine schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness to help them construct fitness centers. All public and public charter elementary and middle schools in Maine who have a majority of students between the ages of 8 to 14 years old and an available room ready for equipment installation by June 2021 within their existing infrastructure are eligible to apply.

Three schools in each state, prioritized based on need, will be chosen from applicants by NFGFC to receive a brand new, state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center.

The school nomination form and more information about the program can be found here: https://natgovfit.org/nominate-your-school/

Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Fitness in Motion provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States.

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs.  In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

School nominations will be accepted until Friday, March 26, 2021. Maine people interested in nominating their school can visit  https://natgovfit.org/nominate-your-school/ and click on the Maine state seal to download and submit the short application.