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Taking Care of You: How Can Schools Support Employee Wellness?

Karen Eisenberg is a senior communications consultant in National Public Relations and Communications at Kaiser Permanente and the mother of two teens.

Visit Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado, on any given school day and you might see an unusual sight: a group of teachers and school staff speed-walking through the halls.

The hall walks are just one example of how Cherokee Trail and other schools across the nation are working to promote employee wellness by encouraging active living, healthy eating, and professional and emotional well-being.

A Thriving Schools webinar series launching later this month focuses on strategies for supporting school employee wellness. The free lunchtime sessions take place from noon to 1 p.m. and are geared toward administrators, teachers and school staff. All you need to participate is a computer, an internet connection and a phone.

Webinar topics include Sustaining School Employee Wellness: Making Positive Changes Last (October 26), Supporting School Employees Through Stress Reduction and a Trauma-Informed Approach (November 10), and Unions in Schools: Important Partners for School Employee Wellness (November 17).

“Teachers and staff are the heart of any school, and they work tirelessly to support students,” said Peggy Agron, national director of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Schools Program. “But in their efforts to do right by their kids, they sometimes neglect their own health. Promoting employee wellness is essential in creating a school environment that helps students, teachers and staff thrive.”

Spreading health in schools

Schools play an essential role in supporting young people’s health, helping them develop healthy behaviors that can last their whole lives. Teachers and school staff are an important part of this equation. When school employees benefit from a healthy workplace, research shows they’re more likely to model healthy behaviors to students. They also tend to be happier and more successful in their jobs, miss fewer days due to illness, and are more likely to stay in their positions.

The School Employee Wellness Series builds on last year’s successful webinars. Audio recordings of those sessions can be found online, and recordings of the upcoming sessions will also be made available.

Register now for the 2016 webinars.

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