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Research shows that students who move more are better learners. By working with our school partners to create more bikes lanes, reduce speed limits on narrow streets and provide off-street biking and walking paths to schools, we get students to move more on their way to school. We also promote opportunities for students to be more active during the school day.


  • Ohio University

    Physical fitness keeps your body healthy, and it can also help your mental health. Learn how to get kids of all ages up and moving.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Information and resources on many health topics and chronic diseases.

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    You can be a champion for the youth in your area in a way that makes sense to you and fits your commitment level.

  • Minnesota Department of Education

    Improve educational achievement by establishing clear standards, measuring performance, assisting educators and increasing opportunities for lifelong learning.

  • Learning Zone Xpress

    Source of health, nutrition and life skills education resources, including affordable educational posters, handouts, incentives, DVDs and more.

  • We Can!

    We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight

  • Fuel Up to Play 60

    Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.

Success Stories

  • Teaching and Learning Through Movement

    Exercise feeds the brain and aids in all areas of executive functioning, including concentration, memory, and mood. Being active is especially important for our youth; many studies have shown that kids who are active are healthier and do better in school.

    The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) strives to make being active a way of life for communities. On September 26, 2018 Winona County PartnerSHIP hosted a free training at Ridgeway Community School for teachers and others who spend time with kids in the classroom. Seventeen people attended from Ridgeway Community School, St. Charles Elementary School, Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University.

    The interactive training covered the importance of providing brain breaks and energizing activities as an intentional “reset” for kids. Content also included best practices and free or low-cost resources to help incorporate more activity in the classroom. One example is to make a classroom kinesthetic so kids can learn through movement. This could include standing desks or seats that allow students to move while seated.

    “The training was awesome. I got many wonderful hands-on activities to get my busy fourth graders moving through our day,” said Erika Goldsmith, St. Charles Elementary School.

    “I added a few more tools in my teaching today.  It was 2.5 hours of fun and real-life quick hitters that anyone can use,” said Scott Kobs, St. Charles Elementary School.

  • “The more they burn the better they learn”

    Did you know that children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day? Physical activity is critical for kids. It can improve attendance, grades, cognitive abilities, memory and focus. According to the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, only 24 percent of males and 22 percent of females in fifth grade in Winona County met this recommendation over a seven-day time period.  

    The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) strives to increase opportunities for physical activity. On Thursday, May 10, 2018 SHIP hosted a free training at Ridgeway Community School for teachers and other staff that have recess, classroom, before and after school, and summer program responsibilities. Five staff from Ridgeway Community School and two staff from St. Charles Elementary School attended the three-hour training to learn how to expand options for physical activity before, during, and after school. The interactive training included lively discussion on best practices to provide ultimate opportunities for physical activity, sharing of successes and opportunities for improvement, and active demonstration of free resources.

    “I want to inspire kids to find activity that they love enough to sustain as an adult,” said trainer Mary Thissen-Milder, PhD from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education. “Kids do what they enjoy. They choose things they feel safe and confident doing – where no one’s making fun of you.”

    “It’s exciting at this school that we have such a push for movement,” stated Mary Lee Eischen from Ridgeway Community School. “At Ridgeway Community School we encourage our students to move and have fun.  It encourages wellness through all of life and helps students with their academic focus.”

    SHIP will host a second free training on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 12:30- 3:30 p.m. at Ridgeway Community School on how to incorporate physical activity directly in the classroom.

    Register at: https://winonahealth.wufoo.com/forms/ship-active-schools-training/. Registration is limited to 25 people. Attendees will receive 3 CEUs upon completion of the class. Compensation is available to cover substitute teachers if needed during a trainee’s absence.

  • Outdoor Activity Center at Riverway Learning Community

    Riverway Learning Community became a SHIP partner in the Spring of 2017. Upon completing their School Health Index they identified the need to increase opportunities for physical activity offered during the school day. Previously the PE equipment was located in several different locations (off campus storage, locked trailer, gym storage closet) and were relatively difficult to access, thereby reducing their use. SHIP funds were used to offset the cost of a shed, now known as the OAC (Outdoor Activity Center). The shed is helping increase access to physical activity items for teachers to use with students.

    “Everyone is so excited about the new Outdoor Activity Center here. It is going to really increase access to equipment and, in turn, increase physical activity.  We are putting in place some partnerships with WSU, St. Mary’s, the YMCA and dance residency to help support that.”
    – Patrick Sheedy, Primary Leader of Teaching and Learning, Riverway Learning Community Charter School

  • GR8 Kids

    GR8 Kids is an eight-week health and wellness program for 4th grade students. The curriculum content is based on 12345 Fit-Tastic and is reinforced through the use of wellness journals to track healthy activities. Points are awarded for consumption of fruits, vegetables, and water, acts of kindness and each 30-minute session of physical activity they engage in. In order to encourage family fitness, children receive an additional point for each family member who engages in physical activity with them. Piloted in St. Stanislaus Elementary School with 40 students, and expanding to reach another 70 students at Jefferson Elementary STEM School, GR8 Kids helps improve the overall quality of life for young individuals in our community, empowering them to be involved in making their own healthy choices. SHIP supported this program by providing synthetic food models for nutrition instruction, posters, and volunteer training. SHIP also funded pediatric prescription pads that were used at Winona Health with the same 12345 Fit-Tastic health message.

Let's Talk About

Active Living

Active Living

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