Sarah Williams is psyched. The 2016-17 academic year in Mount Morris Central School District was loaded with activities and a high level of participation and, in a flash of brilliance, Williams — the district's wellness coordinator — thought up a way to sustain and encourage further success of these activities.
Williams created the first-ever working draft of a Mount Morris Wellness Committee playbook. The playbook documents activities to help future committees run events efficiently and improve upon previous efforts. Williams is currently developing an inter-district FLASHP Playbook based on her original model.
The Light Bulb Moment
The idea for the "Wellness Playbook" was born when Williams surveyed the list of activities and challenges Mount Morris offered throughout the course of the year. She realized how useful such a tool would be to the Wellness Committee for planning activities.
“It practically built itself,” Williams says, describing the playbook. “I focused on the successful challenges and activities.”
The book begins by listing the Wellness Committee’s objectives and goals. The table of contents lists the different challenges, and each of these provides general information, specific details and helpful materials. Materials for challenges are built right into the book. For example, the Wellness Bingo activity contains the Bingo card. Mount Morris is looking forward to expanding on the programs and challenges listed in the playbook.
Williams was careful to make the general information relevant to committee members who lack familiarity with an activity. For instance, the yoga program explains that recruiting participants means overcoming the perception that you need to be able to tie your body up into a pretzel.
Bringing it to WIN
As Williams prepared to share Mount Morris’s wellness activities with Wellness Is Now Committee Chairwoman Diane Neal, she found herself reviewing the activities from other districts. She saw many ideas that she wanted to replicate in the district, and soon she was asking for more information.
“Typically, if I have a question, others have the same one,” Williams says. “I want to know how a committee organized, planned, promoted and implemented an activity. What did they do to make these programs such a success that they want to share them? I want the details… what you need to do to make a program become reality.”
Correspondence between Wellness Coordinators sparked another idea. Why not create a playbook the FLASHP districts could share?
“I kept thinking, what would go into it?” Williams says. “What a great tool. What a great thing to be able to have and use that information. We wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we wanted to try something.”
The WIN Committee asked Williams to do a presentation based on the FLASHP Wellness Playbook. During the presentation, she handed out forms and invited other districts to contribute to what will become the FLASHP Playbook, which is modeled after the Mount Morris version.
The form asked for activity specifics:
- Associated fees
- Required number of participants
- General/supplemental information.
If an activity received any additional publicity, Williams plans to include the article.
“That really amps up the wow factor,” she says.
Part of Williams’ enthusiasm for wellness efforts stems from her own health journey. When she gave birth to her son, Gary, three years ago, Williams was overweight. Since then she has lost 50 pounds by changing her lifestyle and being more active.
“The information I receive as wellness coordinator to share with Mount Morris faculty and staff has helped me to make educated decisions and change my life in ways that are beneficial to my health,” she says.
When Williams presented the idea of a FLASHP playbook at the WIN meeting the response was overwhelmingly positive.
“The feedback was astounding,” she says. “Everyone loved the idea.”