Fresh Check Day news, features, and more!

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Thinking Big

Several new schools will be hosting Fresh Check Day for the first time this Spring and for others, planning Fresh Check Day may seem old hat by now. With the step-by-step handbooks and guides that have been introduced and revised in the last year, it can be tempting to stick to the mold and follow the course that has already been paved - this thinking applies to old and new schools alike. My challenge to you as you plan your Fresh Check Days this year is to break the mold. Invigorate your event with passion and enthusiasm. Think outside the box and think BIG. Need ideas? Refer to your handbooks and give us a call. We can't wait to see the next big thing at Fresh Check Day in 2015 and hope to celebrate the accomplishments of 2014 with many of you at our Gala on March 7th.

Leah Nelson
Program Coordinator,
Jordan Porco Foundation

The Evolution to My Thinking About Fresh Check Day

By Betsy Cracco, University of Connecticut
  1. Are you KIDDING me?!! Do you KNOW how much we have to do?
  2. What have I gotten myself into?
  3. I don’t even  get what it is? I can’t picture it.
  4. Watched videos
  5. Met the Porco Family, heard their story. OK- wow.
  6. We could do many cool things!
  7. Let’s rock this thing!
  8. 1,000 students attend UConn’s first ever Fresh Check Day. Feedback includes statements from students that they felt the university “really cares for them.” Staff are energized by participating in this proactive, productive festival atmosphere.  We feel supported in all ways by the foundation. One student shares in session the next week, that the event literally saved her life.
UConn will be the first school to host Fresh Check Day for a third time on April 25, 2015!

Inside the Booths: Connecticut College

Active Minds at Connecticut College made huge strides in addressing stigma of seeking help when they launched their "I Have a Therapist" campaign at Fresh Check Day. Check out the inspiring video here!

We loved this so much that we've added it as a suggested activity to the Elephant in the Room booth in the Inside the Booths handbook. We can't wait to see more schools bring this amazing campaign to life at Fresh Check Days!

New Promo Video

Check out our new Fresh Check Day promo video, depicting several of our Fall 2014 Fresh Check Days!

Video and editing courtesy of JPF intern Brian Garrity.

Have you seen our new model for comprehensive booth messaging? Click here to learn more!

Active Minds Healthy Campus Award

Active Minds has developed this new award to recognize and celebrate U.S. colleges and universities that are prioritizing health and making great progress towards creating a campus that promotes the health and well-being of its students. We think you should apply!

To learn more about the award, application process, key dates, award criteria, and benefits for winning institutions, click here.

Small Budget and Quick Planning: Fresh Check Day at Gateway

By Kathleen Ahern, MS, NCC
Counselor, Gateway Community College

After witnessing my first Fresh Check Day at Norwalk Community College, I was hooked.  The program’s energy seemed to radiate throughout the entire campus that afternoon and I wanted to bring that excitement for wellness to our students at Gateway Community College (GCC).
I had a huge obstacle in front of me; getting others on board for a massive event that they knew nothing about. I hoped to establish some buy-in through inviting representatives from the Jordan Porco Foundation (JPF) to come to GCC and speak with interested staff and faculty about the logistics and goals for Fresh Check Day (FCD).  At the conclusion of the presentation my colleagues appeared excited and overwhelmed by the possibilities, it was entirely bittersweet. 
Today I want to talk with you a bit about GCC’s FCD journey because I believe it can be a daunting task and also the most worthwhile endeavor.  More importantly, this event CAN be done on a small budget and with quick planning.

Quick Planning

Myself (a counselor in the Student Success Center) and Samantha Kusiak (a specialist in the Student Accessibility Services office) took the lead as FCD coordinators in April 2014.  Knowing our Spring 2015 semester would be too busy, our plans were underway for our first FCD to be in October 2014.  Armed with our planning manual provided by JPF, we began to reach out to key staff, faculty, and student leaders who would share our excitement for wellness. Ideally, students should run the interactive booths at FCD, as peer-to-peer engagement can be extremely powerful.  However, those of us who work with the community college population know that our typical student is balancing school with work and family, often making it difficult for staff to secure student volunteers.  Therefore, we altered our focus to securing GCC employees to run the booths.  This alleviated much of our concerns as most of our planning was conducted over the summer, when students are scarce.
Once we secured a group of interested and dedicated employees (such as the Student Activities office, Faculty, Dean of Administrative Affairs, multiple student club advisors) we began to assign mini tasks.  For example, the Student Activities office secured donations for food and prizes since they are most familiar with the New Haven community.  Another example includes the student club advisors; advisors were responsible for communicating with their student leaders and designing the displays within their booth.  Through collaborating with our FCD group, Samantha and I were able to ensure that planning efforts were moving in a positive direction while allowing us the time to step in and work with a group member who was experiencing trouble with their task.  

Small Budget

I know everyone can sympathize with this hurdle!  Just to be clear, we had NO BUDGET.  What saved us? Donations, our Student Government Association (SGA), and JPF.  The student clubs have their own budget to utilize for events they hope to bring to campus.  Once we shared footage of FCD with our SGA they were thrilled to bring the event to campus and funded the food and DJ.  The prizes for participation were donated by local businesses and JPF.
After receiving an influx of positive feedback from both students and employees, we are happy to plan FCD 2015!  Lets not stop there; we want this event to be an annual experience for our students.  In order to ensure FCD is a stable occasion, we are in conversation with the Deans to explore permanent funding. After reviewing survey results that highlight learning outcomes and student satisfaction, we are confident that the leaders at GCC will contribute to the future of FCD.

Remember to utilize the Planning Tools section of the website for helpful worksheets and planning documents! E-mail Liz if you need the password again.

Copyright © 2015 Jordan Porco Foundation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Goodwin Square
225 Asylum Street, 12th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

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