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School Health & Wellness Kits (formerly New York Health Central)


Janel Payette
Pamela Treat-Ulrich

Health Education Related Information

A limited number of behaviors contribute markedly to the majority of today's chronic diseases. The health of young people - and the adults they will become - is critically linked to the health-related behaviors they choose to adopt. Positive choices need to be promoted before damaging behaviors are initiated or become ingrained in our children.

Our schools are pivotal in helping these youth develop the attitudes and skills necessary to establish healthy behaviors now that will, hopefully, serve as the foundation for lifelong healthy lifestyles. To that end, OCM BOCES offers comprehensive K-5 (formerly K-6) health kits* to assist teachers in their health education efforts to make our children safe, healthy and academically successful.

Youth Development’s Health and Wellness Kits are designed to assist teachers in grades K-5 with maintaining a strong health curriculum without worrying about the significant creation and preparation process that normally goes in to robust lesson planning.  Each kit comes with the prepared lessons, all the required materials and an explanation of the various steps of the lesson plans.  The kits cover topics on both physical and mental health.

Formerly known as New York Health Central, the new, updated School Health & Wellness Kits have been revamped for the 2018-2019 school year and now include the Second Step program. The Second Step program for K-5 is a universal, classroom-based program designed to increase students’ school success and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation (Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success, Committee for Children website, 2011). This curriculum is research-based and supports the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse services standards to improve the health outcomes of students. Classroom teachers may choose to share Second Step materials with their school counselors during their allocated semesters.

Additionally, the kits' core curriculum has been revised and is now more condensed. Still comprehensive in scope, it comprises topic areas that each contain several activities that can be tailored to fit the time frame teachers have, whether integrated throughout disciplines or during a designated health time. Lessons can be used in a stand-alone format in any order as they are independent of each other within each grade level. The focus on the kits remains on meeting NYS Health Education Standards and incorporates the Functional Knowledge areas based on the CDC's identified priority health-risk behaviors for youth.

The Health and Wellness Kits have recently undergone an overhaul for all grade K-5.  These now have all up-to-date materials and meet the newest additional standards surrounding mental health, opioids/heroin and addiction.

School Health & Wellness Kits
Kindergarten - Fifth Grade

  • Aligned to national and NYS Health Education Standards
  • Usage for one semester (16 weeks) or an entire school year
  • Learner-centered
  • Literature-based, integration friendly
  • Current classroom materials
  • Teacher training
  • Cost effective
  • CoSer aidable



Healthy students consistently achieve
higher academic outcomes

The School Health & Wellness Kits are separate from the OCM BOCES Science Kits. The Science Center will continue to refurbish and deliver the health kits based on scheduling data; however, Youth Development is now the new “home” for the kits, providing technical assistance, training and support.

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PO Box 4754
Syracuse, NY 13221
Phone: (315) 433-2600

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