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June 2015 Newsletter
A great beach read


We’re planning our plan

We hope you’re enjoying the summer! Kids are out of school, the sun is shining, and we have the perfect light summer reading for you below – to enjoy on the beach or while wishing you were there. This month, get caught up on all things healthy in San Mateo County, starting with a quick update on where we’re at with our new strategic plan. We’re taking all of your great feedback into consideration, prioritizing the elements that make a healthy community and will share the final plan with you in about a month!

Items to include in this newsletter

Health by Numbers

School Wellness Policies

San Mateo County has 22 school districts that are required to have school wellness policies, yet variations in funding, administrative support, and coordination can create barriers to implementing robust policies and improving youth health. Check out the School Wellness Policy Assessment for more on how to improve health at your school.

Staff Perspective Justin Watkins

Getting smart on health

Educators and public health professionals both know that healthier children are better prepared to learn both in and out of school. This makes perfect sense; children affected by health issues are not able to fully focus on their studies and are therefore less likely to perform at their full potential. From the public health perspective, educational attainment is one of the key determinants of lifelong health outcomes; people with higher educational attainment live longer.


Leading Latinos

Thought about or know someone who should be serving on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit? Join the first ever Latino Leadership Academy in San Mateo County and learn how to be an effective nonprofit board member.Apply by 7/16!


Building healthy communities together

With the Health System budget approved by the Board of Supervisors last week, one of the five values adopted by Health System leadership that stands out to us is the work Get Healthy and your organizations are working on: Building healthy communities through policy change! We look forward to being able to support you in your efforts to build healthy communities with opportunities for all in San Mateo County.


Fresh air and fresh food

Ocean Shore School is one of seven schools in the Pacifica Unified School District funded by Get Healthy to create outdoor garden classrooms for educational and recreational purposes. On a recent site visit we found a thriving school garden and students excited to see their efforts become a tasty reality! Learn more about creating a garden in your school here.


Reading between the lines

Did you know almost half of our children are not reading proficient by 3rd grade? Spurred by leadership in San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Office of Education, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Big Lift initiative is working to ensure all students can read at grade level by 3rd grade.


Route to safer commutes

Menlo Park is considering adding a bike lane along El Camino Real, a stretch with one of the highest rates of bike collisions in the county. The City Council will say yay or nay in July and wants to hear from you on why addition of bike lanes will create a safer street for you for all types of travel. Take a moment and make your voice heard!


Suns out, bikes out

We look forward to seeing more kids and families biking safely on our streets thanks to great instruction at the NFO Bike Rodeo! If you missed it, check out their video here for the play-by-play. NFO Forward continues with more events coming up on July 8 – Dine & Dialog – on creating green spaces. Stay up to date on all things in North Fair Oaks here.


Growing gains not pains

Some cities in San Mateo County have a lot of growth and development happening – but how can we ensure development will benefit all residents? More robust community benefits programs such as hiring local construction workers, paying standard wages, incorporating a mix of housing types including affordable housing, and pursuing local streetscape improvements are one way to ensure current residents can benefit from a change in their city. Read more here.


NorCal Cities say no thanks to sugar

City officials in Davis passed an ordinance making water and milk (not soda!) the default options for kids’ meals. This applies to fast food as well as other restaurants that market meals to kids. Meanwhile, in SF, the SF Board of Supervisors approved new regulations banning soda at city events and placing warning labels on public ads for soda.


Increasing access to healthy food

The State Assembly recently passed AB 1321, which doubles benefits (e.g. CalFresh) for families when they buy California-grown fruits and veggies at farmers markets to make healthy food more affordable. It also includes the pilot expansion of these incentives into neighborhood markets and corner stores to sell California-grown healthy produce in low-income neighborhoods. Legislation like this can help provide healthy food in all communities and more opportunities for people to be healthy and food secure.