Employee wellness is the focus of a new program at the 5,000-student Goddard USD 265. Steps 2 Wellness, a program developed by Greg Kalina, nutrition service director, and Jenna Schippers, a dietetic intern from Kansas State University, aims to provide nutrition education and increase physical activity in the foodservice department staff.
Under the Steps 2 Wellness program, every foodservice employee was given a pair of sneakers, a long sleeve shirt with the Steps 2 Wellness logo on it, a pedometer and other educational information. The program’s highlight was an in-service training for the staff in January. Two of the district’s physical education teachers attended and held a session about simple activities the workers could do to improve their health. A motivational speaker was also brought in. “This is not about losing weight or BMI,” Kalina said. “It’s about your wellness at any weight and feeling good about yourself. We aren’t beating people up about their weight. We build their self esteem.”
The program was funded by a grant from the Kansas Healing Foundation for the district’s effort to go trans fat free in 2006. “Every school has a wellness policy,” Kalina said. “Unfortunately, a lot of times what happens is that gets shelved.” To prevent that from happening at Goddard, Kalina set up Steps 2 Wellness.
He added that an after-work walking program for the employees is also in the works.