California Educator

March 2015

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T H E S A N T A B A R B A R A T E A C H E R S A S S O C I A T I O N ( S B T A ) is so committed to promoting health and well-being for students and teachers alike, they added a "wellness" section to their website ( The website notes that healthy students learn better, while healthy educators are more sat- isfied with their jobs and are able to perform at a higher level. SBTA also sponsored a screen- ing of the documentary film Fed Up, which reveals the root causes o f c h i l d h o o d o b e s i t y a n d t h e power of the big sugar and soda i n d u s t r i e s . T h e t wo - n i g h t January event was an "unqual- ified" success, according to SBTA President John Houchin, pictured above with Laurie D av i d , w h o p r o d u c e d t h e Academy Award-winning doc- umentary An Inconvenient Truth. We asked Houchin about sponsoring events like this. Promoting Wellness When is the best time for an event like this? Sponsoring a special event for teachers can be tricky to schedule. We chose a Tuesday, thinking educators would be more likely to show up early in the work week. We chose the second day of the semester, which actually created a chal- lenge because many of our school sites had grading deadlines to meet for their first semester grades. Too, we were compet- ing with the opening night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and a Patti Smith concert. The bottom line is that there's probably no such thing as a perfect day for an event during the school year. Any suggestions for local chapters? • Advertising and media coverage are essential. Sending multiple fliers and email reminders helped with attendance. • Delegate! In our case, we discussed over event over a three month period at Rep Council, and once the date was set and everything secured, we relied on our site representatives to distribute fliers and tickets. They did a fantastic job! Also, depending on the size of your local, gather a committee and allow others to engage and share responsibilities. • Securing film licensing is necessary. • Appeal to foundations and organizations for sponsorship and support. Our event was co-sponsored by SBTA, CTA, the Orfalea Foundation, and the Dreier Family Rent Subsi- dy Trust, which helped defray some costs of the theater. • A good guest speaker can really increase attendance. In our case, we had the film's executive producer, Laurie David, who is a great advocate for healthy foods in schools. • Hold a raffle. Four of our site reps volunteered to obtain gift certificates from local restaurants. We had seven certificates total, and our guest speaker did the drawing at the end of the presentation. It was lots of fun! How did your members benefit from this event? Holding free events for educators is a great way to build community in your local chapter, and to bring members together for a common purpose. In this case, members learned about how powerful the sugar lobby and soda industry are, and how our culture has allowed children and students to become victims of advertising. They also learned about the varying quality of school lunch pro- grams and what they can do about it. When the union can bring teachers together for an event that goes beyond contract issues, new meaning is added to membership. Educators in every community appreciate and benefit from participating in enriching and productive activities like this. There will be a ripple effect, and hopefully, our teachers and students will live healthier lives as a result. Go Online @ Guest column Perspectives 23 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 7

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