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Student Health = Student Achievement

A Whole Child is a more Successful Child

Recent data shows a direct correlation between student health and student achievement. But over the last few decades obesity has increased while physical activity has declined.  By focusing on the whole child - their heart, mind AND body, we can reverse this trend while creating a balanced, more successful child.
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The Nebraska Whole Child Project brings together school districts, educational service units (ESUs), universities, and state colleges, to: 
  • Research, collect, and report data regarding student fitness
  • Effectuate a change in the culture at school districts and ESUs across Nebraska to improve student fitness, health and wellness 
  • Share best practices in student fitness, health and wellness


Aerobic fitness has been shown to strongly correlate with performance on standardized academic tests, as well as having extensive health benefits for students.  The Project will compare  standardized test scores in core academic subjects with individual student health data, such as height, weight, and aerobic fitness, as well as demographic data, such as ethnicity, and socioeconomics. Using this data, the goal of the Project is to then supply an analysis to schools of what a child needs, as a whole, to be a successful student, and expand their offerings to support optimal academic success.

The Nebraska Whole Child Project is an effort led by the Nebraska Association of School Boards, in partnership with Dr. Bob Rauner, MD, MPH, Director, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, to bring together accurately collected health and wellness data to be provided to school boards to enable them to make decisions to improve student achievement, with the goal of studying that data to determine what is relevant to the academic success of all Nebraska school children.

To learn more about the Nebraska Whole Child Project or get involved, 
contact Megan Boldt at or 800-422-4572


S.W.E.A.T. Conference Takes Over Lincoln!

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The S.W.E.A.T. Conference on Student Wellness Education & Training took place on April 14th in Lincoln. Attendees spent the day learning from experts on student wellness and the correlation to student achievement, got to participate in a variety of brain break activities led by students, and heard from NFL running back with the Cincinnati Bengals, and former Husker Rex Burkhead. The conference was attended by school board members, Superintendents, school nurses, PE teachers, business leaders, and athletic directors. This was truly an event like no other. It’s not often you see attendees, some in suits, or heels, excited and engaged to get active and do a set of push-ups, or race across the room to win a cup-stacking challenge, all led by kids!

To view media links and photos from the Conference, click on the below:

KLKN TV Channel 8: Lincoln
10/11 TV: Lincoln (photos)

A huge thanks to co-sponsors of the event. S.W.E.A.T. was powered by the Nebraska Whole Child Project, the Midwest Dairy Council, the Nebraska Association of School Boards, Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids, the Department of Health & Human Services, NETS, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Public Leadership Foundation, SHAPE Nebraska, and the Nebraska School Activities Association.


Healthy Students Are Better Students!

Healthy students are better students. It’s the primary focus behind the Nebraska Whole Child Project! Check out this quick video from the 2014 Learning Connection Summit. You may even recognize someone. Thanks to The GENYOUth Foundation, the Midwest Dairy Council, and Fuel Up to Play 60 for their positive impact in our schools.


Proven school wellness programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 empower students to make positive changes at school and can bring healthy changes to life both in and out of the classroom. School breakfast programs are especially important and may positively impact children’s nutrition and learning. In fact, research shows that those who eat breakfast have better attention and memory than breakfast skippers and students who are more active during school perform better on standardized tests for reading, math and spelling.

American kids spend more than 2,000 hours in school each year where in-school wellness policies can encourage healthy habits. Schools are an ideal place to promote childhood health and wellness, but they cannot act alone. Parents, schools and the larger community must work together to affect change for children’s health and wellness in schools.

To view the full report, including references and other supporting materials, visit

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