School-Based Wellness Initiative
MUSC BCCW's School-Based Wellness Initiative is an obesity prevention initiative that impacts the health of school-aged children, their families, and school staff. This approach motivates school districts and schools to create a culture of wellness using evidence-based programs and resources that are proven to be successful. The initiative aligns with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model which calls for integration between health and education. Participating schools utilize the School Wellness Checklist© tool (SWC©) as a guide to implement and record wellness practices completed each year. The SWC© includes 7 wellness categories: Getting Started, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Social-Emotional Wellbeing, Establishing a Wellness Culture, Employee Connections, and Sustainability. The items on the checklist are assigned point values and schools earn points by implementing the wellness programs for their students and staff. Schools that achieve enough points on the SWC receive a monetary award to grow and sustain their wellness projects. Schools compete with other schools in their district to see who can make the most wellness changes, and the highest scoring school in each district receives an additional monetary award as well as their name on their district wellness trophy. Examples of what schools use the wellness funds for are building a school garden, providing kinesthetic desks in classrooms, offering yoga instruction to students and staff, installing refillable water stations, providing additional recess and PE equipment, or purchasing incentives for students and staff for participating in healthy activities.