NEA Health Information Network is committed to student health and safety, and we believe that healthy students, healthy educators, and healthy learning environments are essential to great public schools. We support the “whole child,” and we believe that all students deserve the academic and nonacademic supports required to succeed in school and in life.
Every student and educator is healthy, safe, and ready to succeed.
To empower educators to champion safe and healthy schools where students thrive. To support learning, we address critical health and safety needs, bringing together the best in:
• public health and health care practice,
• active partnerships, and
• insights and actions of a national network of NEA members.
We work with educator leaders to build school-based solutions that improve the health and safety of students, educators, and school environments.
1. An engaged and active NEA member network that provides leadership and works with community partners to advocate for the health and safety of students, educators, and the school environment.
2. Improved student, educator, and school health and safety.
These principles guide our work and define our mission:
• Social Justice—we believe in the equity of access to health and safety. We are committed to furthering the respect for the worth, dignity, and equality of every individual in our diverse society.
• Professionalism— we believe that success is driven by integrity, transparent and collaborative communications, and effective program design. We are committed to the highest level of efficiency, quality delivery, responsiveness, and service.
• Partnership—we believe that work is done best in collaboration with others. We are committed to actively seek the partnerships of educators, parents, families, health care professionals, and other stakeholders essential to realizing success.
• Innovation—we believe that, in a constantly changing world, we must be constant learners, flexible, and ready to adapt. We are committed to innovating in order to find quality health and safety solutions that empower educators and that help students achieve their highest potential.
• Knowledge—we believe in accessing and applying the best available data to inform our programs. We are evidence-driven and research-based, committed to measuring the progress and impact of our work in order to strengthen our program designs.
Helping Members and Students to Make Good Health Choices
Helping Educators to Bag Junk Food in Their Schools
Tired of seeing junk foods and sugary beverages in school stores, vending machines, and cafeteria à la carte lines? Studies show that restricting sales of unhealthy snacks and beverages in schools can improve children’s diets, reduce weight gain, and even increase school food service revenues. That’s why NEA HIN launched BagtheJunk.org, a new resource to educate, mobilize, and empower the school community to replace junk snack foods and sugary drinks sold in schools with healthier options. The site features advocacy tools such as organizing tips, policy briefs, fact sheets, and sample letters along with current news, trends, and thoughts from experts in the field. Hungry for more? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
Fighting Child Hunger with Breakfast in the Classroom
There are more than 25 million children in our nation’s public schools, many of whom come to school hungry. That’s why NEA HIN works in partnership with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), and School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) – collectively known as Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC). NEA HIN collaborates with NEA local leadership, school teachers and education support staff to implement the program. NEA HIN offers training for school employees and provides a BIC toolkit to teachers and education support staff. During the 2011-12 school year, NEA HIN worked with partners in 10 school districts to deliver breakfast to 20,000 additional students. Through the program, a total of 70,000 students in 12 states and 13 school districts will benefit from Breakfast in the Classroom.
Helping Students Live Healthy Lives
All students should live healthy. That’s why NEA HIN provides free instructional materials to support educators’ efforts to teach students in grades K-3 about healthy living. The Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives kit provides a guide featuring 14 instructional activities, a MyPlate poster offering visual examples of healthy living, and food cards identifying the five food groups. Lessons feature a “modifications” section to enable educators to tailor the activities for their classrooms and are aligned to federal nutrition guidelines. Grouped by three themes – THINK Healthy, EAT Healthy, and MOVE Healthy - the versatile program includes activities that address multiple learning styles and utilize a mixture of grouping structures. Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives is tied to national curriculum standards in all academic content areas for grades K-3.
Helping Educators Stop Students from Abusing Prescription Drugs
One in four teenagers reports taking a prescription drug not prescribed by a doctor. Rx for Understanding, 10 cross-curricular lessons for middle school students, aims to equip students with the decision-making skills they need to avoid the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. Aligned with the National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards, Rx for Understanding contains five sequenced lessons for grades 5 – 6 and five sequenced lessons for grades 7– 8. Each set of lessons acts as a mini-unit. The lessons can be organized to match curriculum standards. Materials are available in hard copy or as a free PDF download.
Supporting Safe & Healthy School Environments
Helping School Employees Prevent & Manage Food Allergies
Is there a plan in place at your school to handle a food allergy emergency? NEAHIN and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have released, Food Allergies: What School Employees Need to Know. All school staff - bus drivers, teachers, paraeducators, custodians, and food service workers - should understand food allergies and the role of school employees to help prevent and manage food allergic reactions. The booklet provides information on the signs and symptoms of food allergy reactions, how to respond to food allergy emergencies, and how to prevent reactions by creating allergen-friendly classrooms, through proper cleaning and other strategies. NEA HIN offers printed and online booklets for free, in English and Spanish. Click here to download the booklet or order a hard copy.
Helping School Employees Prepare for and Navigate School Crises
The NEA HIN school safety program assists NEA members with school emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. NEA HIN works directly with state and local affiliates to help prepare for emergencies and to facilitate immediate, effective, and appropriate crisis response. The program covers incidents that significantly disrupt learning environments (PK-12 and higher education) both on campus and at sanctioned events. Incidents have included acts of terrorism, natural disasters, school shootings, suicides, and school bus accidents. NEA HIN has responded to over 100 different crises. NEA HIN provides resources to educators on preparedness, response, recovery, and effective communication through its Crisis Guide.