CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the West Virginia Immunization Network and Marshall University’s School Health Technical Assistance Center have again joined forces to promote student health and wellness statewide. The two-day KidStrong Conference, in conjunction with the Immunization Summit, begins today and will continue until Wednesday afternoon at the Charleston Civic Center.
As the largest school health professional development event in West Virginia, the conference provides professional development in community schools, school health services, immunizations, school climate, mental health, early education, special programs as well as speech and language pathology and oral health. As many as 900 education and health professionals are participating in the event.
"The annual KidStrong conference is a place where school personnel can share ideas around health and wellness and learn how to foster students who are healthy and ready to learn," said state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin. "When we talk about academic achievement and college and career readiness, school nurses, school counselors, health and physical educators, educational support services and community partners have to be at the table."
As part of the KidStrong conference, the Immunization Summit Program will provide innovative strategies for developing immunization programs and tools to promote vaccinations across the state. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is hosting an onsite adult vaccination clinic as well.
During the conference, the American Dairy Association will honor 42 schools across the state for their effort to fight child obesity through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. With a goal of encouraging lifelong health and wellness, the program recognizes schools that encourage kids to move at least 60 minutes a day as well as to eat nutritious foods.
Presenters at the conference include State Board President Gayle Manchin and Bob Brown of the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers discussing Community Schools, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District Booth Goodwin discussing the Handle with Care program, the national rock and roll nutrition show Jump with Jill along with author and children behavioral specialist Jim Harris. The two-day conference also boasts expert speakers presenting in over eighty-four breakout sessions.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.