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Feel Better Minnesota

Kid-tested, principal approved!
You are invited to Exercise Your Right
to Feel Better Minnesota!

Exercise Your Right to Feel Better Minnesota (EYR) encourages sustainable changes to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. The campaign is based on the idea that the opportunity for health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs. The rising rate of childhood obesity is a concern for parents, educators and communities across Minnesota.
EYR has been kid-tested! The Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) adopted the campaign district-wide, for all students, staff and many parents and community members. Each school received a EYR toolkit and was asked to participate in a school-to-school relay, hang posters, distribute bookmarks, send home parent newsletters and read morning announcements related to health. Many schools went above and beyond, incorporating messaging into the classroom, holding family events, school assemblies and making posters to let kids tell their own ideas of Exercise Your Right. The culminating event was an Exercise Your Right to Feel Better 5K Run/ Walk at a Saint Paul park. EYR materials are easily adaptable and what you do in your school or district campaign is entirely up to you! Helping your students, staff and community take the first steps to a healthy lifestyle has never been easier. 
2011 Healthy Living Innovation Award Winner!
The Feel Better Minnesota campaign received the 2011 Healthy Living Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This award honors innovative health promotion projects nationwide that have demonstrated a significant impact on the health status of a community.

Visit to join the campaign today!
  • Find ideas on simple ways to get involved
  • Download professionally developed tools
  • Order a free DVD of our Emmy-nominated musical TV program

Principals Give Recess Thumbs Up in Latest Gallup Poll

(March 2010 -- Dateline NAESP) A recent survey of elementary school principals reveals enthusiastic support for recess among principals, who see it benefiting kids both in the classroom and in life. The Gallup poll, sponsored by NAESP, the Robert Woods Foundation, and Playworks, surveyed almost 2,000 principals nationwide, the majority of whom report that recess has a positive impact on academic achievement. According to the resulting report, The State of Play, two-thirds of principals report that students listen better after recess and are more focused in class, while virtually all believe that recess has a positive impact on children’s social development (96 percent) and general well-being (97 percent). However, despite principals’ praise of recess, many schools have cut recess to meet testing requirements. Half of principals report that students receive between 16 and 30 minutes of recess per day. And one in five principals indicate that annual yearly progress testing requirements have led to a decrease in recess minutes at their school. Still, this research shows that even a little recess can have a big impact on the school day.

This poll is the first nationwide, scientific survey of elementary school principals devoted to the subject of recess. The survey’s findings, which find value in recess for academic, as well as non-academic reasons, compliment First Lady Michelle Obama’s obesity-fighting campaign “Let’s Move.” Schools play an important role in communities and in creating opportunities for all students to achieve their highest potential. That is why the education community will work with the campaign on at least two of the major initiatives: creating healthier schools by giving parents the support they need, providing healthier food in schools, and helping kids to be more physically active, and increasing opportunities for kids to be physically active by supporting the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.

Health and Your Environment: Schools

Visit the MESPA Press Room to read the October 7, 2009 Minnesota Public Radio News story (by Tom Weber) about Jackson Preparatory Magnet School (St. Paul, Principal Patrick Bryan) -- and the school's effort to show students how to fight the twin childhood epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

Summary of possible changes to MN immunization laws, as they would affect schools (as of June 2012)
Get Acrobat Reader  Germ_City.pdf  
Small poster describing Germ City -- with contact information for bringing Germ City to your school.
Get Acrobat Reader  Statewide_Digital_Cable_Coverage.pdf  
Digital and Cable statewide television coverage of the Feel Better Minnesota production.

Proposed Immunization Changes
For a summary of the proposed immunization law changes, scroll to the document below.


(April 2012)  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is considering modifications to the School and Child Care Immunization Law through the Minnesota rulemaking process and will be accepting comments until June 30 at 4:30 p.m. MDH will publish specific modifications to the school immunization law after the public and an advisory group have had time to comment.

All information will be on MDH’s rulemaking Web at or go to the MDH’s main immunization page at  and click on the “Immunization Rule” link.

MDH also created a chart that compares the current Minnesota School Immunization Law to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization recommendations. This chart does not contain the proposed Immunization Rule changes and is provided only as an informational resource. (This chart is on the MDH immunization rulemaking Web.) No specific recommendations are listed yet; detailed changes will be proposed before the public meetings in June.
Finally, MDH will hold two public meetings to get comments on the rules from interested parties.
  1. Thursday, June 14, 2012, 5:30 - 8 p.m. at the Orville L. Freeman Building at 625 North Robert Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
  2. Monday, June 18, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., via statewide video teleconference. Final details are still being worked out but we expect to have 11 to 13 video conference sites around the state. MDH will post more information on the meetings, such as dates, times, locations, and parking on the Department’s Immunization Rulemaking Web.
For further information on the amendments and the rulemaking process,
contact Patricia Segal Freeman:
MN Department of Health
PO Box 9441
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
phone (651) 201-5414
or 1-877-676-5414
fax (651) 201-5501
TTY users call (651) 201-5797

Feel Better on You Tube and MN Channel!
Feel Better Minnesota! is built around a 30-minute Twin Cities Public Television Minnesota Channel production that provides tips and encouragement for making simple sustainable changes that can make us all feel better. The production is available in its entirety or in 15 short segments which have been posted on You Tube for your use!
For a complete schedule of cable television coverage, scroll to the schedule below.

Prevent Inhalant Abuse
MESPA has joined a coalition to help Strike Out inhalant abuse!

Inhalant abuse
refers to deliberate inhalation or “sniffing” of fumes, vapors or gases from common household products for the purpose of getting high.
  • Studies have shown more than 1 in 5 kids will abuse inhalants by the eighth grade. 
  • With over 1,400 common household and commercial products that can be abused there are a lot of options for kids.
Make sure you, your staff, and students’ parents stay informed!  Visit for information and to download a free Inhalant Prevention Kit. The Kit contains background on inhalant abuse, signs, symptoms, treatment resources, latest statistics, and a PowerPoint presentation.

Please step up to the plate and help us Strike Out inhalants!Your efforts in raising awareness in your school will make a difference.

Bring Germ City to Your School!
Minnesota Department of Health Food Safety Partnership “Germ City” handwashing displays are available for use at your community or school event.  Germ City is a science based, educational program to improve the effectiveness and frequency of hand washing behaviors in adults and children. Volunteers apply GlitterBug lotion to visitors’ hands. Visitors enter Germ City to see ‘pretend germs’ glow under the black lights. Then they wash their hands, and re-enter Germ City unit to see how well they washed. For more information, or to reserve Germ City, contact Deborah Durkin at MDH:, 651-201-4509 or 651-295-5392 -- or scroll to the Germ City PDF.

The goal of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to help Minnesotans live longer, better, healthier lives by reducing the burden of chronic disease.

For more information on SHIP and what the program can and is doing for schools, visit Statewide Health Improvement Program on the St. Paul Public Schools Web. You may also download a:
  • SHIP Fact Sheet
  • SHIP Schools Fact Sheet
  • Feel Better MN Fact Sheet

Minnesota Department of Health
For statewide SHIP information and references, visit: