New Wellness Coordinator Keeps Kids Fit, Healthy


Casey Kelly/KMXT

0 < ![endif]--> It’s been more than two years since the Kodiak Island Borough School District implemented a federally mandated wellness policy for students. Now they finally have someone to run it. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

Wendy Van Curen is the new wellness coordinator, an administration-level position that works with schools throughout the district to make health a priority.

(Van Curen 1 :15s “…to become healthy role models.”)

Van Curen has been on the job for just under a month, and already she’s been visiting schools and trying to get a sense of what kinds of health policies are in place. She says the district’s food service department recently began offering prepared salads and other healthy meals for students and staff. Several schools have also implemented their own exercise programs.

(Van Curen 2 :17s “…after a certain distance.”)

One of her first projects has been to get district schools to sign up for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. A number of schools signed on immediately for the program, which seeks to combat childhood obesity. The alliance provides a survey that helps schools improve their overall approach to healthy education.

(Van Curen 3 :16s “…helps us look at those areas.”)

When the district implemented the wellness policy two years ago, it formed a committee to help shape the policy and provide recommendations to teachers and staff. Heather Preece was a member of the committee and says one of the first things they urged the district to do was hire a wellness coordinator.

(Preece 1 :28s “…and just getting it moving.”)

Preece says she had her doubts about whether the district would be able to hire someone, and although she’s no longer involved with the wellness committee, she says Van Curen is a great fit for the job.

(Preece 2 :25s “…all of their personal lives.”)

Van Curen is looking forward to working with the wellness committee, and says it should be easy to come up with new ideas for making kids healthier.

(Van Curen 4 :17s “…and we want to keep it going.”)

Van Curen gave her first update to the school board during Monday night’s regular meeting. She gave a presentation on the district’s wellness policy and efforts to improve upon it, such as the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

I’m Casey Kelly.

HOST TAG: Wendy Van Curen will appear on KMXT tomorrow (Wednesday) during Spotlight. She and Kodiak High School health teacher Eric Linscheid will discuss the district’s wellness policy as part of KMXT’s fall fundraiser.


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