Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

October 3, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Join us at the New Norms for Healthy Schools series starting October 18th, 2017

NEW CITY, NY - - As a new school year begins, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage parents to think about how ready their children are for learning. Many scientific studies show that children and teens who are physically fit and eat a nutritious diet are more prepared for learning and get better grades in school. A proper balance of physical activity and calories from nutritious foods and beverages also helps prevent childhood overweight and obesity – a leading cause of chronic lifestyle-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, sleep difficulties, and joint pain.

The research also shows that physically active children and teens can concentrate and remember better and behave better in school. Fun activities that get a child's heart pumping harder and breathing harder are the ones that help prepare the brain for learning. Children benefit they get at least 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity each day and enjoy healthy eating habits.

Eating a healthy diet rich in plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, fruits, and whole grains, as well as low-fat animal products such as low-fat milk and cheese, meats and fish provide young people with the nutrients they need to support overall health and brain development. All schools in Rockland County participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program and follow regulations that provide children with access to a variety of healthy food and beverage options. The most recent regulations include "Smart Snacks in School" standards for all foods and beverages sold to students during the school day which includes the school meal programs, vending machines, school stores, and fundraising during school.

To support schools in implementing federal child obesity prevention recommendations and standards, the Rockland County School Health and Wellness Coalition will offer seven monthly training and mentoring sessions for school health leaders, youth-serving organizations, and parents. The free, school-year long program called, "New Norms for Healthy Schools, Training and Mentoring Series," will highlight the new school health regulations and focus on school fundraising, celebrations and providing more physical activity in school. The first session, Establishing New Norms: Leadership, Cultural Diversity and Standing Your Ground, will be held Wednesday, October 18th from 8:30 – 10:30 AM at Rockland BOCES Conference Center, 65 Parrott Road, West Nyack, NY. For more details about this free program and other school health resources visit the Rockland County School Health and Wellness Coalition website at

For more information about school health, contact the Health Department at 845-364-2360, or visit For national physical activity and dietary guidelines, go to