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Because childhood should be simple ...

Teachers and Leaders

Here's an upsetting thought: Children today are likely to have a shorter life span than their parents because most of them are simply not eating right or exercising enough.

Checkup Challenge, a pilot program created by Cook Children's, is one way to help children enjoy a better future. The program encourages a new and improved way of thinking about health, nutrition and physical activity.

Cook Children's offers the program free to your organization as a gift to our community. It is another opportunity to keep our bold promise "to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury."

We look forward to feedback from your organization throughout the process, as we continue to refine our pilot program.

Teacher and leader week-to-week guides

How Checkup Challenge works

Checkup Challenge is a six-week program that educates children on healthy eating and exercising. The intent is to teach the kids a healthy lifestyle they will carry them into adulthood.

The kids' progress will be supplied to your organization, the participants' parents and Cook Children's throughout the six weeks.

The measured data will effectively give us tangible evidence of the impact being made on kids' lives and help gauge our success. Checkup Challenge will help children think differently and grow up to be healthy adults, but to be successful we need a team effort.

Cook Children's role

Cook Children's will be with you throughout the pilot period of the program, supplying informational tools, communicating with parents, monitoring participants and fielding your questions and comments.

We provide step-by-step, week-by-week tips to a healthier lifestyle. A team of clinical and nutrition experts have provided the content for training materials, which will be given to designated team leaders and children who participate in Checkup Challenge. Parents will also receive materials each week to help re-enforce the lessons at home.

Your role as team leader

Thank you for accepting the role of team leader for your school. You were chosen because you are an enthusiastic teacher who will encourage kids to participate in this program.

By participating in Checkup Challenge, you join Cook Children's in its emphasis on preventive care. You are making an impact on the lives of the children in your school by participating in Checkup Challenge and recognizing the children participating in the program.

As a team leader, you'll get to know the kids on your team and make sure they understand all that is being taught. You can also help by acknowledging their accomplishments, determining the proper amount of time spent on the project and administering education materials.

We hope your excitement for the program will motivate and inspire your team to be healthier.

Competition and teamwork may add an extra incentive for children to successfully track their points. Divide your group into two or three teams. Stress to the kids on each team to track their points daily and at the end of the week, the team with the most cumulative points wins. Winners should be acknowledged or recognized on a weekly basis. For example, a school may want to announce the winning team over the loud speaker.

At the end of the six-week session, all the kids who completed their tasks and earned medals will get a certificate of completion. We also want to hear from you. Tell us what you liked about the program and what you didn't. You have a hand in building this project from the ground floor with us.

Parental Involvement

And while much can be done in school, kids participating in Checkup Challenge need support at home too.

If possible, encourage parents to play a significant role in Checkup Challenge. Parents will need to approve their child's participation in this pilot program and, hopefully, become champions and partners for Checkup Challenge's success. The more parents are involved in a lifestyle change, the better the child performs.

Parents can help their kids set goals, promote tracking results and encourage their children by following guidelines we will provide in a weekly e-newsletter. It will provide updates, explain each topic and show parents how to get involved and re-enforce the messages with their kids at home.

The goal of Checkup Challenge is to develop good eating habits and increase physical activity. Kids who complete the program will have a basic knowledge of what it means to be healthy. They'll also have some simple guidelines they can follow for the rest of their lives. But it will take all of us working together to make it happen.

We hope you join us as we bring our next generation to good health and bright futures.

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