The past several months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the systemic inequities it has amplified alongside the recent murder of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality truly underscore the ways racism has affected African Americans and other communities of color. We must confront this racism head-on in our community institutions. This includes schools, which are centers of learning and touchpoints for social support services.
We’re curating this resource page as an online space that you can trust for the latest information and ideas to support learning, health, and overall well-being during these challenging times. We recognize that school communities are having to adapt to tremendous changes in a short period of time and that more support will be needed as students and teachers eventually return to in-person school life.
A Message from Annie Reed, National Director of Thriving Schools: It is with great excitement that we, at Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools, are announcing today some exciting developments that will deepen our ability to serve the social and emotional health of school communities.
McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California, has been part of a 2-year program focused on building a resilient school environment for students and staff at its campus. RISE — short for Resilience In Schools Environments — implements policies, practices and trainings to help the school students and staff adapt to and deal with challenges, trauma and emotionally charged experiences.
To support that idea of creating a culture of wellness, Kaiser Permanente partner School-Based Health Alliance fashioned an innovative resource to guide health advocates as they create, implement and sustain schoolwide wellness efforts.
“I think that when young people are involved in current, real-world situations, it enables us to passionately interact with the world and create a better future,” said Vanessa, a high school senior and Student Youth Advisory Council member.
Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre in Colorado presents Invisible Feelings, a 25-minute workshop based off the popular children’s book, “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig. Invisible Feelings is designed to help build some of the, if not the most essential, building blocks for a long healthy future.
“Properly fitted bicycle helmets are the single most important safety device for cyclists of all ages and are estimated to reduce head injury risk by as much as 85 percent,” says John Dunn, MD, a Kaiser Permanente Washington pediatrician.
Kaiser Permanente recently helped open a wellness center for more than 70 teachers and employees at Carole Highlands Elementary School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The new wellness center includes exercise equipment and a meditation area.
Over the past decade, Kaiser Permanente used different aspects of its HEAL (short for “Healthy Eating Active Living”) initiative to improve health policies, programs and ultimately health outcomes impacting more than 715,000 people.