PHS Students

I like PHS class because itís fun and I get to try new things. They tell you what is good for you to eat. I had celery last week, and didnít like it before, but now I do.
- Malachi, sixth-grade student, Noble Elementary-Middle School, Detroit

I like when Project Healthy Schools brings in different foods to try because they taste good.
- Kelsey, sixth-grade student, Bryant Middle School, Dearborn

My favorite lesson was the fruit salsa and what colors of fruit we are suppose to eat. I liked it because it was fun cutting up the fruits and trying it.

Three things I learned were: You are supposed to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. The serving size for chips is way smaller than ¼ of a bag. They get famous people to try and get you to buy their product!

Now I get 40 minutes of exercise every day and I make fruit salsa for my family, and we eat

I really like everything we learned. It was fun! My favorite lesson was when we learned about how much fat was in stuff. It was crazy how much fat is in something so small. I also liked it when we made up the commercial.

I learned a lot! One of the things I learned is not everything is bad for you at fast food places. Another thing I learned was that serving size for chips is less than ¼ of the bag. The last thing I learned was that fruit & veggie salsa is good!

I think all of this stuff will make me think and choose even more healthy choices! Thank you sooooo much!!

My favorite lesson that you taught was when we did the skits. It was really fun! I also enjoyed when we played MOVE! I moved a lot! One change I put into my life was smaller portions of food, I really enjoy it! I am also eating fruit for a snack every day at school.

I thought that the PHS overview was the most fun activity that we did. It was really fun and it helped us remember the things you taught us. I also liked the Assessing Advertising lesson. It helped us learn not to get everything on TV that looks good. Thank you for teaching us.

I learned that every day you’re supposed to get 30–60 minutes of exercise. I also learned that you’re supposed to eat a balanced meal every meal but it is okay to have a healthy snack. Thank you for teaching us all this information. You taught us all about food and making healthy choices. You also taught us about not spending too much screen time.

Because of you I am going to make healthier choices. I am also going to spend less screen time every day. I will exercise more too. Thank you so much for coming and teaching us. Have a great year!


I have to tell you that my 6th grader is now Miss Healthy Eater. She won’t let me drive near a fast food restaurant. She reads labels all the time, eats lots of salads and fruits and never hesitates to comment on the eating habits of mom, dad and little sister. ("You’re going to eat THAT??!!")

I do appreciate the program!! Keep up the great work!!

Wanted to let you know how much of an impact your talk with the students at King had:

My daughter gave an eloquent argument as to why we would be healthier and is more intent on eating a balanced diet (something we always have talked about and tried to work on as an interesting project that the whole family should be aware and involved in.)

She was quite taken with your talk and is teaching us from it as well! Pretty cool huh?! Thanks so much.


My students have enjoyed the Project Healthy Schools lessons. I hear students talking about the food groups while eating their foods for breakfast. The "sugar shock" lesson has students looking at labels of their drinks in the morning and what they drink at home. My students are also reading food labels looking at sugars... Exercise has become a fun part as we move through our lessons. I am a member of the wellness team and I am looking forward to our total school activities, as well as staff activities. Students will enjoy activities and become healthy Wildcats." [Note from editor: the school mascot is the Wildcat.]
- Judi Zanotti, sixth-grade teacher, T. L. Handy Middle School, Bay City

A 6th grade student in my [class] mentioned that she would find it very difficult to meet our weekly goal since she does not eat fruits or vegetables other than one bite of broccoli that her mother encourages her to eat occasionally. The week of our colorful salad lesson I asked students to at least try the salad before making an opinion. I think, feeling a bit pressured, when everyone obliged my request to her delight she found that the salad "wasn't so bad and was actually quite good". She commented she would take the recipe home to her mom and was happy to find that the "peppers could be a healthy snack after all."
Belinda Cleary, sixth-grade teacher and wellness champion, Summit Academy Middle School, Romulus

At St. Thomas we have learned that small changes can have a lasting, major impact. We have plans for altering our school cafeteria choices available for our students. We also plan to start an after school healthy snack bar for our athletics and extra-curricular after school programs. Gradually, the momentum behind the initiative to make the students more aware of how their own choices can improve their personal well-being is gaining speed. We anticipate making a positive difference for our students that could last them a lifetime.
- Ed Scott, athletic director and sixth- and seventh-grade teacher, St. Thomas the Apostle School, Ann Arbor

Being a caregiver for my fatherís two-month hospital stay this past summer from double heart valve replacement surgery, prompted me to change many of my poor health habits. Prior to that I was almost 80 pounds overweight, basically inactive, sleeping less than five hours per night, only drinking diet soda and mainly eating fast food. Consequently, during the summer I saw my primary care physician, had a physical, started a healthy diet and exercise plan, and set personal goals. Ironically, I began teaching Project Healthy Schools (PHS) in the fall. While each lesson I teach reinforces everything my physician, my fatherís doctors, and the exercise plan my doctor set up has taught me, I also have personally learned new helpful healthy living information in each lesson and have been able to share my honest enthusiasm with my students. Because of these factors, I have numerous success stories in my classes, as well as losing over 40 pounds personally. Thank you, BCBS, U of M, and PHS for the wonderful gift of health youíve shared with us!
- A sixth-grade teacher, Mason Middle School, Waterford

All the fifth grade parents told me [of] the ideas and things their kids are telling them about from our wellness lessons. One parent commented that at breakfast she saw her daughter thinking and "counting". When she asked what she was doing, her daughter said she was making sure she had the right foods to make it a healthy breakfast.
- Diane Matuszak, fifth-grade teacher, Britton-Deerfield Schools: Deerfield Building, Deerfield

As a result of presenting the weekly lessons, I have seen the impact a teacher has on the students. I need to set the example for them on a daily basis and not just on PHS lesson days. I have cut my intake of carbonated beverages. I would have at least a 20 oz. bottle of pop each morning, and it was in plain view of the students. That wasn't a very good example. Since starting the lessons, I have cut down on my total intake of pop, having water or a low sugar beverage to set the example.
- Richard Espinoza, sixth-grade teacher, T.L. Handy Middle School, Bay City

A Scarlett 6th grader took the PHS message to heart and increased her daily physical activity by walking and running plus she changed her eating habits. Her teachers, Joan Grissing (6th grade teacher) and Mr. Cerniglia (PE teacher) were amazed by her persistence. She lost weight and gained a healthier lifestyle and outlook.

Thank you to each and every one of you. Friday’s 6th Grade Field Day was a great success. The weather was perfect. We had just the right amount of water and watermelon. The students were in a great mood and practically organized themselves! AND You all ROCKED! Thanks so much for your help, your smiles, your teamwork!

Thank you Project Healthy Schools for inviting FSEP to have a table at the field events at Slauson and Forsythe.

They were wonderfully organized and very fun events and we really enjoyed the opportunity to share some farm fresh foods and connect with students and staff.

In one particular class, Mrs. Karen Meyer, a vibrant and enthusiastic teacher commented that this year her students were very complacent and unenthusiastic about EVERYTHING! Unwilling to participate in school fund raising contests, bored with new material and unenthusiastic about exciting new programs, she doubted they would participate in the 10 activities that are taught for PHS. She was assigned a young woman in her first year of medical school, Anuja Jain, who embraced these children and PHS with such enthusiasm and excitement, that with her weekly visit and the constant encouragement of both her and Mrs. Meyer, her class of 20 students rallied to win the PHS Healthy Tracker competition! Students logged their exercise minutes for one week, their fruit and vegetable selections for lunch for another week, and finally their beverage selection during the third week. Each advisory classroom in the 6th grade competed against each other for total points as a class. Mrs. Meyer’s and Anuja’s classroom was awarded the PHS cup trophy and a fruit smoothie party for their efforts!

Health Ambassadors

This was very inspiring to me personally to make improvements in my own habits. There were many hands on activities that I believe may have created some strong visual images for the kids (amount of sugar in a soda, the large blobs of fat in various foods, the models of fat vs. muscle). I think these might stay with the kids and motivate them to make better choices.

The most positive part of the experience is interacting with the kids and knowing that some of them really care about getting healthier.

I loved how the program worked to empower the kids to have the knowledge to be able to make their own well informed decisions about their health. It was a really fun experience and it was a pleasure working with the kids!

I very much enjoy the fact that the Health Ambassadors have the opportunity to get involved in a broad range of activities outside of the classroom. I think PHS is a very comprehensive program.

The kids’ enthusiasm and willingness to actively participate in all the discussions was great.