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Everyone plays a role in making a school healthy
June 17, 2024

By William Rowen Healthy Roar reporters | Creating a healthy school environment is important, according to recent interviews with Rowen staff members.

A school environment includes many things such as: How people treat each other. How clean and tidy the classrooms are. What is on the cafeteria menu and what activities are available.

A school’s environment can have an impact on students’ and staff members’ attendance and even how well they do in school and at work, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is a government agency that seeks to make sure that the places where people live, work, and play are safe.

A school climate is “the feel of the school,” says Alliance for Education Solutions. A positive school climate helps students to get higher grades, gets students ready for college, and keeps teachers and other staff members happy, according to youth.gov.

Rowen climate staff members recently spoke with Healthy Roar reporters about how they help to make a healthy environment for students and other staff members. Climate staff members help students in different ways. They watch them during lunch and recess and help solve behavior problems between students, according to the School District of Philadelphia.

Ms. Kithcart, a member of the climate staff team, said that recess and gym help keep students physically fit. Other Rowen staff members who help students with their problems include Mrs. Parker, the school counselor; Mr. Marable, the lead climate manager; and Mr. Johnson and Ms. Murdock, both who are on the school climate staff.

Ms. Charnay said that Rowen has school officers who keep students safe. She said that she picks students to help clean up around the school. She also makes sure that all classrooms have cleaning wipes, hand sanitizers, tissues, and face masks to keep classrooms clean and students healthy.

Ms. Charnay said she would like to see students “eat better, treat the school better, and for students to keep up with their hygiene.”

Ms. Murdock said she likes to see kids jumping rope and playing football or basketball to be active. In her job, she said, she helps keep things “clean, organized, and sanitized.”

Rowen uses positive reinforcement to help students stay healthy emotionally, according to Ms. Murdock. Positive reinforcement means “rewarding a positive behavior in order to encourage it to happen again in the future,” according to dictionary.com.

She said she would like to see school staff promoting healthier eating to students and encouraging students to say positive things to each other. “I would like to see the students start with positive thinking and personal hygiene,” Ms. Murdock said.

Illustration by a Healthy Roar reporter.

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