Wellness Newsletter

Resources and tools to keep Vernon families healthy.

Welcome to your wellness headquarters!

The Vernon Public Schools District Wellness Committee is made up of representatives from each school, Food & Nutrition, Physical Education, administrators, and community members. The Wellness Committee is responsible for establishing goals for and overseeing school health policies and programs. The District believes in integrating wellness activities across the entire school setting, which includes family involvement. This quarterly newsletter is aimed at bringing you resources and tools to help keep you and your family healthy!

District Wellness Policy

The district wellness policy has been updated in June 2020. The document can be found in the 6000 section of the Board of Education policies. The goals of this policy are to:

  • Provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors (nutrition education)
  • Work collaboratively to support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to students’ wellness, academic performance, and demonstrating a commitment to improving student nutrition (nutrition promotion)
  • Provide opportunities for all students to engage in physical activity, develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, and understand the short and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthful lifestyle (physical activity)
  • Provide opportunities to integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting so that all efforts are complementary (other wellness related school based activities)

In This Newsletter

Take Action to Prevent the Flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions.

Flu vaccines are free for children 18 years and under and can be administered by the child's doctor. For adults over 18, flu vaccines are covered by most insurances and can be administered at a local pharmacy or doctor's office.

While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as:

  1. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
  2. Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.
  3. Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  4. Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.
  5. Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
  6. Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
  7. Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children.
  8. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
  9. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you.

Families can find more information here.

Staying Active for Mental Health

As the days get shorter and the weather colder, it can feel daunting to keep the kids entertained. Especially this year, with limits on social gatherings and mask wearing, we all need some fresh ideas to stay active during the winter months. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal (NIH). You don't have to go the gym to be active!

Try these family activities to stay active and stay happy this fall & winter:

  1. Take a family walk on the beautiful trail system right here in Vernon! Click here for a trail list and maps. Enjoy walks in the winter by bundling up to stay warm.
  2. Try an outdoor scavenger hunt. Split into teams and let the winning team decide what's for dinner. Click here for an outdoor scavenger hunt template.
  3. Did you know that the track at Rockville High School is always open during daylight hours? Try walking or running around the track. Running doesn't have to be boring! Click here for some fun running games for kids.
  4. Check out some of the activity and sport options through Vernon Parks and Recreation.
  5. Yoga and meditation are especially good for relieving stress and can be done anywhere! Try a family yoga session for exercise and add meditation for relaxation. Don't know where to start? Check out these free resources here.

Food access in vernon

Consistent access to healthy food is critical to the well-being of our children. This year has put a financial burden on many families, but there are many ways to access food in Vernon.

Vernon Public Schools is providing FREE breakfast and Lunch for all children 18 and under through June 30, 2021. Free meals are available in school for those learning in-person. Meals for children are also available for pickup on Wednesdays between 12:00PM - 3:00PM at Vernon Center Middle School OR Rockville High School. No registration or ID is required, and the child does not need to be present at pick up. Just show up!

The Cornerstone Soup Kitchen (15 Prospect Street, Rockville) is open to the public 7 days a week.

LUNCH: Monday through Sunday (7 days a week) at 11:30 am
DINNER: Monday through Friday (5 days a week) at 5:00 pm

The Cornerstone Food Cupboard provides food assistance to those needing some extra help who meet the federal guidelines for food assistance. Registration is needed. Click here to learn more and to register. Pre-made bags are available for pick up. Call 860-871-1823 for info.

TUESDAY: 9:00AM - 12:00PM

SATURDAY: 12:00PM - 2:00PM

The HVCC Food Pantry is an emergency food source for residents of Vernon, Tolland, and Ellington. The food is free to individuals who meet income and residency requirements. To determine if you meet eligibility requirements, please call 860-872-7727 and ask to speak to a case manager. The case manager will set up an intake meeting with you to determine your eligibility. Pre-made bags of food will be available for pick up at the loading dock. Call 860-872-9825 for info.

MONDAY: 2:00PM - 5:00PM

WEDNESDAY: 12:00PM - 5:00PM

THURSDAY: 9:00AM - 1:00PM

FRIDAY: 9:00AM - 12:00PM

Mobile Foodshare is a pantry-on-wheels that brings fresh produce and other food to our neighbors in need. Anyone is welcome! Food choices vary from week to week but usually include several types of fresh produce. Please remember to bring a bag or box with you to carry your food.

PARK WEST APPARTMENTS: Every other Tuesday 1:00PM - 1:30PM, including Nov 24, Dec 8, Dec 22

CORNERSTONE/ST. BERNARDS CHURCH: Every other Thursday 10:15AM - 10:45AM, including Nov 12, Dec 10, Dec 24

About Us

The Vernon Public Schools convenes a representative district wellness committee that meets at least four times per year to establish goals for and oversee school health policies and programs, including development, implementation and periodic review and update of this district-level wellness policy. Please contact us to provide feedback.