Children and Youth

Students Express What Health Means To Them

Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program of Public Health Services worked with schools during National Public Health Week to promote healthy messages through art mural

Last week, April 4-8, San Benito County Public Health Services celebrated annual National Public Health Week with the theme of making the healthiest nation in one generation. Staff from various public local health programs conducted activities and presentations, and partnered with retailers and partner organizations to highlight the importance of practicing healthy habits to make San Benito a healthier county.  

The Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program worked with partner schools Calaveras Elementary, Accelerated Achievement Academy, R.O. Hardin Elementary, Sunnyslope Elementary and Hollister Dual Language Academy to have students work during their lunch period on an art wall that asks the question: “What does health mean to you?” Staff also provided fruit-infused water to encourage children to make healthier choices when it comes to their drinks. 

The children from all five schools enjoyed the opportunity to express themselves and show what health means to them.  As defined by World Health Organization, health is a "state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Many students drew fruits and vegetables but there were also students who really thought about the question and sketched things like being happy, being with family, being drug free or listening to music. Manuel Aviña, health assistant for the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program, said, “I have learned a lot from these kids. They are very creative and full of energy when it comes to knowing what makes them healthy. That’s what we need to really start making changes here in San Benito County.”

The Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program hopes that this activity inspired students to make healthy choices every day and realize that health encompasses so much more than nutrition and physical activity.


Erika Vallin is a Health Education Associate with the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program for San Benito County Public Health Services.