Thursday, December 8, 2016

Safe Toys this Holiday Season

SkyWell wants to remind you that during this season of giving, it’s important to remember some safety issues when choosing toys for young children or family members. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who closely monitors and regulates toys, any toy made in — or imported into — the United States after 1995 must comply with these CPSC standards.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:
·         Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
·         Stuffed toys should be washable.
·         Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
·         Art materials should say nontoxic.
·         Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season! See the SkyWell Board in the Commons for more safety information this holiday season.
Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Week of Thanksgiving Gratitude

Happy Turkey Day from SkyWell, 
or for you plant based food lovers, 
Happy ToFurkey Day!

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Who We Are – What We Value

The 2016 Presidential election is now over. It was a long haul for candidates, consultants and constituents. For some of you, it was your first opportunity to vote in a national election. The rest of you will have to wait four years, and I hope that the next round is a little less messy.

The data show that 70% of the American electorate was stressed out by this campaign. I am not surprised. It even caused a few loud discussions in my own house, a place where we are usually unified. The candidates’ shouting and finger pointing did little to bring us together to focus on what is important. The daily misinformation and conspiracy theories added no value to the national debate.

But the bottom line is this – we are not defined in total by our voting choices. After all, we are influenced by many factors when it comes to casting a vote and no candidate is perfect 100% of the time. What is more important is how we choose to live our life. Who we connect with, how and why our paths cross, the daily behaviors we adopt – says a lot more about us as individuals and as a community.

SkyWell is about wellness, and it’s also about connections. As you finish your education in high school and begin the next step in your career or college pursuits, it will become perfectly clear that who you are and what you value is more about positive connections and the impact you make on those around you.

So don’t be sad or celebrate about the presidential race for too long. Instead, go out and make a great connection today!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween from SkyWell !

Halloween Candy !!

With all this discussion about sugar, added sugar, sugary drinks, tooth decay, diabetes, cardiovascular disease ... how can we enjoy a sugar holiday? Well, we will devote more time to our understanding of sugar at a future date. For today, have a handful and enjoy! 

Happy Halloween from SkyWell!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Congratulations Skyline !

Congratulations on Skyline's first HeartSafe Certification! 

Job Well Done!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The 5 Second Rule - is No More!

The 5 Second Rule

I am one of the guilty ones. In my younger adult life, I once dropped an M&M on the floor of a public building and scooped it up and popped it into my mouth all in one fell swoop. My co-workers were aghast.

Today, it’s different. I throw out my socks at the end of the airport security line, and I burn any personal items that may have made their way into anyone’s hospital room – pillows, slippers, even toothbrushes. Actually, I don’t bring anything home from a hospital anymore. I just leave it there. Call me a germ-a-phobe. When my son returned from China in 2014, I even threw out his shoes before he got out of my car.

However, a recent study released by researchers at Rutgers University now calls the 5-Second Rule a myth, and probably supports my paranoia – the rule that says if something is dropped on the floor and picked up immediately, there is little to no threat of contamination.  This is one of those notions that developed over time out of practicality. But in today’s environment, it’s just no longer wise.

The article states: After putting the five-second rule to the test, researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., found contamination with bacteria can occur in less than one second. "The five-second rule is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food," said study lead researcher Donald Schaffner, a professor and extension specialist in food science. "Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously."

So, I sent a son off to college this fall with hand sanitizer, vitamins, and extra pillow cases. I reminded him how important hand washing is in preventing illness. I even suggested he spray down the dormitory mattress with anti-bacterial cleaning products prior to making his bed. Think I’m crazy? Maybe I am.

But I do know this … there are a few simple things we can do to promote wellness and protect our own health. And now we know that the 5 Second Rule no longer applies. When you drop it, leave it, or sweep it up and throw it away.

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Monday, September 5, 2016

Getting Ready for Another Great Year of SkyWell Wellness

We are off to a great start this year. SkyWell champions have developed a calendar of events that will meet the needs and priorities of many students and staff. SkyWell Club leaders have also agreed to meet every Monday after school, beginning September 12, to make participation easier and attract more interest. We hope to see you then!

In a great conversation with SJMHS/Ann Arbor, we discussed some exciting possibilities to engage other high schools in wellness, bring medical experts and administrative leaders to participate with our students in the wellness dialog, and tap their vast clinical resources at our Wellness Expo and Career Fair. We look forward to working together.

This year, please join us at these special events:
  • Monthly SkyWell Club activities to promote stress management, increase health awareness on a variety of topics, reduce stigmas and stereotypes, and have fun;
  • January 2017 – Our 3rd annual SkyWell Wellness Expo will also feature a health and medical career fair and our annual survey assessment of wellness needs and interests;
  • February 2017 – a Million Step Challenge, offering a grand prize to the school whose team achieves one million steps first;
  • May 2017 – Our 2nd annual Walk for Wellness Fundraiser for a charity to be determined.

Welcome Back Students. Have a great year!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Friday, August 26, 2016

Parks and Wellness

In my work as a wellness consultant, it’s always wonderful to watch how others define wellness for themselves and for those they care about. Important work is going on in our communities related to many dimensions of wellness including investments in trails, parks and recreation infrastructure, and timely wellness policies like bicycle lanes or the new Tobacco 21 initiative in Ann Arbor.

As we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service, it seems obvious that recreation and the beauty of our national parks also contribute to wellness in a significant way.  Parks are places where people go to connect with others or reflect alone; places that promote activity, clean air and clean water; places where our history as a nation is honored.

I met with the 2016 SkyWell senior leaders this week. They demonstrated their creative energy about how to define wellness for this next school year and I am certain that their ideas will make an impact. As they discussed their priorities, I noticed they touched on much more than just physical wellness topics like nutrition and fitness.  Although those behaviors are key indicators for health issues like obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, their discussion also focused on the environment, stress and anxiety, and reducing stigmas and stereotypes at school.

Progress toward optimal health is gained from any and all efforts that help us to expand beyond our everyday habits to reach new goals. We all benefit from our nation’s commitment to the US Park Service. We are also beneficiaries of a wellness culture that supports healthy living. Visiting a National Park is one way to achieve the inspiration we all need.

Happy 100th Birthday to our National Park Service!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Monday, July 25, 2016

SkyWell 2015-2016 Annual Report

If you would like to read the SkyWell Annual Report for the 2015-2016 school year, please click on the link below. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Benefits of Staying Active!

Join Us!
SkyWell Walk for Wellness
May 20 at Skyline

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health, and people of all abilities and body types can be physically active. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity.

For more information about the SkyWell Walk for Wellness
go to

Hope to see you there!
Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Friday, April 8, 2016

April Showers Bring May Flowers ...

... and the
SkyWell Annual Meeting!

April 27, 12:00-1:30
in the Skyline Auditorium.
See you there!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Power of One

It’s April 1. No kidding.

There is a commercial out right now that asks “what if one strawberry could prevent heart disease?” It’s actually a pitch for getting a pneumonia vaccination, emphasizing the importance of one simple step to promote health.

I love the notion of the power of one. Although our lives are interconnected webs of highs and lows, relationships and experiences, networks and communities, the power of one is an important concept. Can one person change the world? Can one act change history? Does one good turn deserve another? Does one person have the power to adopt a healthy lifestyle?  I think the answer is absolutely yes.

Here are some fantastic examples of the power of one. It’s up to you. You have the power!
  • The harmony of the one man band.
  • A hole in one.
  • All for one and one for all.
  • One word of encouragement can change a person’s day.
  • Go to sleep one hour earlier.
  • Just one smile.
  • One small step for man … one giant leap for mankind.
Come to a SkyWell Club meeting. Bring one new idea about how we can promote a culture of wellness at Skyline. Don’t worry … we will help! And we're not kidding.

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Monday, March 28, 2016

One Last Tip for National Nutrition Month

As we close out National Nutrition Month, one last word of encouragement.

Drink More Water!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Toss Out Fad Diets – Adopt Healthy Eating for Life!

March is National Nutrition Month

This just in from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – fad diets are out.  Healthy eating is in! Healthy eating is a balanced approach to everyday food decisions – not a diet that focuses on eating one thing, avoiding one thing, odd food combinations, or starving yourself!

As the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

So let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month in March by choosing one new healthy eating habit. Visit the Academy at for ideas, or come to a SkyWell Club meeting to share your thoughts on what we can do at Skyline to promote healthy eating for life!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Volunteering and Personal Wellness

Volunteering Helps you Stay Connected

I just read a tweet about the art of volunteering and its positive impact on personal wellness – both body and soul. It got me thinking.

Giving Back. Showing you care. Demonstrating community concern and taking action. Volunteering is one specific way to stay connected and improve the lives of people around you. And it’s important all year long.

Last month, our SkyWell representatives volunteered at the #SJJoinMe Luminary Walk. When I asked students if they would be interested in helping to set up, clean up and play flashlight tag during the Friday night event sponsored by St. Joe’s Mercy Health System, a dozen hands shot up instantly. Volunteering at its best - for the fun and joy of getting involved and giving back.  SkyWell reps also volunteer at Peace Neighborhood Center, the Ann Arbor Y, Project Healthy Schools and many other organizations in our community.

SkyWell in and of itself is a volunteer activity. As a Skyline High School club, members discuss ways to improve school wide wellness and plan events that they feel will make a difference. They do this after school and over the summer, donating their time and great ideas to impact our school culture of wellness. Our January Wellness Expo was held during school hours, but quite a bit of planning and preparation after hours went into making it a success. It’s the volunteers who make a difference every day. And we appreciate them very much!

Thank you SkyWell for another great Wellness Expo. We look forward to hearing about the survey responses, which will guide your efforts next year in helping to make Skyline High School the healthiest high school in Michigan.

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Please Join Us for the 2nd Annual SkyWell Wellness Expo!

The Expo is Coming to Skyline!

On Wednesday, January 27 during Skytime and first lunch, please attend the SkyWell Wellness Expo in the Skyline Commons. Many community organizations will be on site to provide valuable information about community resources. If you complete our wellness culture survey, you could win one of these great prizes:

  • a free month at Liberty Athletics Club
  • a new snowboard helmet
  • a free nutrition consultation at EMU
  • t-shirts, reusable water bottles, gift cards, toothbrushes, and more
See you at the Expo!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell

Monday, January 11, 2016

Do Healthy School Lunches Mean Healthier Skyline Students?

Let's Give a Cheer for More Fruits and Veggies!!! Yay!

Alright … your mom has been telling you for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She’s right. But what you eat during the school day is important, too. Calories, carbs, essential nutrients and protein all play an important role in how we fuel our bodies for optimal performance and brain function.

Despite federal regulations to improve school lunch food choices, and a big focus on school gardens and farm to school initiatives that bring local fresh produce to schools every day, did you know that only 12% of Washtenaw County youth eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day? 

5 servings =
1 banana (1 serving) + ½ cup raw carrots (1 serving) +
1 small apple (1 serving) + a large leafy salad (2 servings)

Or an orange, steamed broccoli, fruit smoothie, crunchy cauliflower … you get the picture!

So take a look around the Skyline cafeteria today. What choice will you make to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables? If you have suggestions, come to a SkyWell Club meeting and share your opinions. We would love to hear them and work together with our cafeteria to take action!

Live Well | Think Well | SkyWell