STEPS Challenge STEP into a Healthy Holiday Season While 2014 may be winding down to a close, the third year of SNA’s STEPS Challenge program is well underway to assist you in reaching your personal wellness goals. Are you taking advantage of this free program, with its wealth of resources to help you live a healthier lifestyle? Everything you need is available online at www.schoolnutrition.org/STEPS: a wide variety of recipes, exercise ideas, general wellness tips and the program’s signature monthly challenges. The November and December STEPS challenges are designed to help you stay on track during the exciting, but often hectic holiday season. For November, it’s all about giving your meals a healthy punch by choosing lean protein options. Award yourself three points for every time you choose a lean protein instead of a higher-fat alternative. Consider foods like turkey (yeah, Thanksgiving!), fish, chicken, beans, tofu and so on. Once the calendar flips to December, and the holiday season is officially in full swing, you’ll likely need some time to de-stress. With December’s challenge, you earn five points for every occasion where you take time for personal relaxation. Read a book, take a nap, watch a movie or go for a walk; these are just some of the relaxation options you might engage in to decompress during this busy time of year. And even though the winter months may keep us indoors more often, there are plenty of ways you can stay active. Simply remain mindful that taking small healthy steps every day is the key to living a healthier lifestyle. Visit www.schoolnutrtion.org/STEPS to learn more, read success stories and, of course, to upload your points! Advocacy Serve up Some SN Promotion Many SNA members have stepped up to the Association’s challenge to invite their Members of Congress to pay a visit to their school cafeterias. Frankly, it’s one of the best ways you can promote your program and keep school nutrition top-of-mind with the nation’s lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. As further incentive, SNA launched a Cafeteria Site Visit Sweepstakes, and SNA members who can document a site visit by legislators or an invitation for such a visit are eligible to win one of two trips for two to the 2015 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C. In order to give more members a change to participate, the Sweepstakes deadline has been extended to December 31, 2014, and SNA now will accept invitations to Members of Congress as proof of participation. These changes were made to ensure that everyone who makes the effort to host a cafeteria site visit, regardless of an acceptance of the invitation, is eligible for the big prize. So how do you get started? Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/CafeteriaSiteVisitSweepstakes and check out Cafeteria Site Visit 101, which provides step-by-step guidance on the protocols for such invitations and advice for would-be hosts. Do your part by taking this important advocacy step before year’s end. SNA Certificate Program SNA Certificate: As Easy as 1-2-3! Did you know SNA’s Certificate in School Nutrition Program is recognized as a leading education effort in the school nutrition profession? By earning—and maintaining— your SNA Certificate, you can demonstrate your commitment to this profession while staying current with the top priorities related to your job. Today, obtaining your Level 1 SNA Certificate has never been easier—especially given that the high school/GED requirement is no longer required for Level 1—and it will benefit you in ways you may never have imagined. From the outset, the Level 1 SNA Certificate provides a career ladder to help you advance, from assistant to cook and all the way to Getting your Certificate also enhances your professional image, adding credibility to your position and to your school’s foodservice program. Plus, it will give you a head start in meeting proposed federal professional standards for school nutrition staff. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to earn your Level 1 SNA Certificate: • STEP 1: Complete an 8-hour Nutrition Core Course and an 8-hour Food Safety Core Course. The National Food Service Management Institute offers both types, free of charge. Visit www.nfsmi.org for details. • STEP 2: Submit your completed application, certificates of course completion and payment to SNA. • STEP 3: CELEBRATE! Upon review of your documentation and receipt of payment, SNA will send you a letter confirming that you have earned your Level 1 Certificate in School Nutrition. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/certificate for all the details to take the important first step toward your certificate—you’ll be glad you did! District directors also should stay tuned to SchoolNutrition.org: SNA expects to debut a poster that you can customize and display to spotlight members on your staff who have earned their certificates. SNF Scholarships Achieve Your Educational Dreams The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), the philanthropic sister organization of SNA, is dedicated to securing financial resources to support educational programming, tuition assistance and research in school nutrition. Providing lifelong learning opportunities for SNA members is at the core of the Foundation’s mission. Are you ready to realize your educational dreams in 2015? Beginning January 6, 2015, SNF will offer four education scholarship programs for the 2015-16 school year. With more than $25,000 in available funding, there are dollars on the table, just waiting for your application! Hundreds of SNA members have benefitted from these scholarships over the years. “I had a newborn baby in September, and if it weren’t for that scholarship to push me to finish my degree, I probably wouldn’t have finished so quickly. Knowing I had that support pushed me and made it that much easier to accomplish,” recounts Erin Thacker, nutrition and wellness educator, Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools. Sherry Stratton, foodservice account specialist, Warren County (Ky.) Schools, concurs. “It’s important to remember that if you want to keep growing you’ve got to learn. To be a good person, a good employee, you always have to be ready to make that jump,” she notes. “If someone is really serious . . . even if you are just taking one class a semester, you need to know you are one step closer to that goal, whatever it is. You’re going to have something at the end that you can point to and say, ‘I did this.’” SNF scholarships and grants can help you earn a degree, attend SNA national conferences or upgrade your kitchen. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/scholar ships for more details. SNA Emporium Show Off Your SN Pride Every day is a fresh opportunity to show off your school nutrition pride—and the SNA Emporium has you covered! Perhaps you’re hosting a cafeteria site visit with your Member of Congress— matching aprons for the cafeteria staff would look great! Maybe you need a special gift to acknowledge a coworker who went the extra mile on a big project—how about a “Child Nutrition Is My Business” (CNB) license plate frame? Do you have a special training workshop coming up? Consider giving CNB Smiley Face journals to participants so they can take notes. SNA’s Emporium is your one-stop-shop for great school nutrition merchandise, and you don’t want to miss the closeout prices on select items. Hurry—you only have until the end of December! Visit http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org for discounts on a variety of T-shirts, aprons, posters and more. Don’t forget that National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6, 2015) will be here before you know it. “Make the Grade with School Breakfast”-themed items will help your school cafeteria teams to spread the important message about the link between school breakfast and academic achievement. Colorful posters, buttons, T-shirts, aprons, balloons and much more will help you make a statement this year! Take advantage of great deals at emporium.school nutrition.org. SNA Meetings & Events JANUARY 11–13, 2015 School Nutrition Industry Conference Phoenix MARCH 1–4, 2015 Legislative Action Conference Washington, D.C. MARCH 2–6, 2015 National School Breakfast Week MAY 1, 2015 School Lunch Hero Day MAY 4–8, 2015 School Nutrition Employee Week JULY 12–15, 2015 Annual National Conference Salt Lake City OCTOBER 12–16, 2015 National School Lunch Week
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