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Rural Case Studies

Across Colorado, schools and school districts are creating healthier environments for students and staff. Across Colorado, schools and school districts are creating healthier environments for students and staff. However, smaller rural school districts face unique challenges such as a lack of qualified nurses, physical education teachers and food service directors; limited access to health services for students and families; or high poverty rates that impact nutrition and health.

In these times of ongoing budget cuts, see how five rural districts have overcome challenges to boost employee wellness; improve student nutrition; teach health education; offer physical education and other opportunities for students to be active; and provide health services.

These short case studies offer practical advice about what works in rural communities, including strategies that cost little – or nothing at all:

Bethune School District
Bethune, Colorado

Winning by Losing – Download the PDF

Employee wellness: In tiny Bethune, about 20 miles from the Colorado-Kansas border, the school district is focused on losing weight, eating right and modeling good habits for students. The staff is seeing results both on and off the scale.

Campo School District
Campo, Colorado

Getting Healthy – Download the PDF

Nutrition: A health and wellness program in Campo School District targets students and employees, but it is also affecting the community. Residents are now serving more fruit and vegetables at potlucks, church gatherings, bridal and baby showers, and funeral dinners.

Center School District
Center, Colorado

Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles – Download the PDF

Health education: The state’s highest rate of poverty is 250 miles south of Denver in the small town of Center. Ninety-one percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. For Center School District, educating its 475 students about healthy lifestyles and good decision making is leading to improved student achievement.

East Grand School District
Granby, Colorado

Getting Students Moving – Download the PDF

Physical education and activity: Eighty-five miles northwest of Denver, East Grand School District serves Fraser, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, Tabernash and Winter Park—where active lifestyles are a community value. Keeping students physically active during the school day is appreciated as an essential component for health and learning.

Garfield County School District

Bringing Health Care to School – Download the PDF

Parachute, Colorado Health services: When students at the Grand Valley Center for Family Learning need medical attention, they don’t even have to leave the building. They can just walk down the hall to the Grand River Student Health Center where a fulltime nurse practitioner is on duty eight hours a day, five days a week.

The Colorado Legacy Foundation believes that increased student achievement for all Colorado students requires effective leaders in every school, effective educators in every classroom, and healthy and engaged students who come to school ready to learn.



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