Healthy School Spotlight

Newton County Theme School (NCTS) is committed to improving the culture of wellness for students and staff. Led by Principal, Dr. Naomi Cobb and PE Teacher, Steven Joyce, NCTS has been consistently recognized as one of the leaders in wellness throughout the state of Georgia.

NCTS has worked with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation for three years to help move their wellness efforts forward.  While working to improve wellness efforts, NCTS has received many grants to support their work around increased physical activity and access to healthy options. NCTS has been a two time recipient of the Georgia Shape grant. A grant dedicated to helping schools create sustainable wellness changes in areas of physical activity and nutrition. In addition to the Shape grant, Steven Joyce has served as an expert wellness panelist at the Georgia Shape Summit. NCTS has also received additional grants to help support wellness. These grants include Fuel up to Play 60, Newton Educators Foundation, HealthMPowers, and the Carol M. White Federal PEP grant.  As you can see, NCTS is an expert and utilizing the resources available to them to help support their wellness efforts. 

In addition to their grant success, NCTS has created sustainable initiatives that not only impact student health but also work to improve parents and community health. Wellness Leader Steven Joyce has been leading a Family Fitness Night for the past 8 years in an effort to get families moving more and eating healthier. Power up for 30 is integrated into the school culture and provides a morning fitness club for students to attend and get additional exercise before the school day starts. Steven understands that getting students moving more will positively impact student test scores, student behavior, and student attendance which is why he created an annual Physical Education party designed for the entire Newton County community to attend. This PE party currently has about 1500 attendees yearly and is designed as a physical activity party rather than a birthday cake celebration.

As you can see, Newton County Theme School and Steven Joyce are true leaders of wellness in the State of Georgia. Not only are they focusing on changing the culture of wellness within their school they are working to improve the health of the community that they serve.  As a true leader of wellness change Steven credits all of their success to a great team that includes his fellow PE teachers, principal, community members, students, and parents.

How to create a healthy fundraiser at your school:

1 - Review the USDA’s guidance on Smart Snacks in School fundraisers.
2 - Empower your Parent Teacher Organization or School Wellness Council to come up with creative ideas to raise money while setting a healthy example. Check out the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s alternative fundraising ideas.
3 - Get the word out: Invite the community, heavily promote the event, and encourage your staff to get involved.

Healthy School Spotlight content provided by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.