The Winter Park Health Foundation’s (WPHF) Coordinated Youth Initiative (CYI)—a collection of school-based health and wellness programs reaching some 190,000 local students over the past 17 years—was highlighted at an Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) philanthropy breakfast on April 9.
OCPS, on a mission to engage community partners in its Philanthropic Strategic Plan (PSP) which is designed to help ensure student success, hosted the breakfast to provide an update on progress and showcase community partners already involved.
The PSP features eight priorities with the greatest potential for improving the success of local students. One priority calls for providing a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse or nurse practitioner in every OCPS School in the belief improved wellness is linked to better academic performance.
Former Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, WPHF Trustee and Vice Chair for Children & Youth, represented WPHF and reviewed its long term partnership with OCPS including support for nurses at 12 OCPS schools in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville.
In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students make a Healthier Community, WPHF provides funds helping schools upgrade from a basic school health aide to a fulltime licensed nurse—typically an RN—to tend to the health needs of students.
In addition, it supports nurse practitioners in School Based Health Centers at Winter Park High School and Glenridge Middle School.
Well aware that mental health issues can become a barrier to learning, WPHF also helps provide full-time mental health professionals based at each of the 12 schools. And, it supports Healthy School Teams at each campus, charged with promoting a culture of health and wellness among students and staff.
All programs are dedicated to making sure students are at their healthiest and able to do their academic best.
Some of the other breakfast presenters included U.S. Rep. Dan Webster; Janice Abrew-Coriano, representing Rosen Hotels and Resorts; Nancy Gidusko, Community Relations Director for Walt Disney World; Diane O’Dell, Vice President, Community & Diversity Relations & Executive Director, Universal Orlando/Foundation, and Michael Boos, Vice President Zoological Operations, SeaWorld Orlando.