OD Wyatt High School in Fort Worth will be the third school in North Texas to adopt the Texas Health Resources “Thrive North Texas” curriculum.
“We are 94% to 95% economically disadvantaged,” OD Wyatt High School Principal Howard Robinson explained of his students. “Partnering with the Thrive program is just a great opportunity for us.”
Thrive North Texas is a web-based learning module that teaches students skills to overcome social-emotional resilience while also rewarding them with points they can use to “buy” healthy food at a student-run grocery store on campus.
“So they go through the resilience skills module, they earn points, those points are then currency for the grocery store,” said Marsha Ingle, senior director of public health at Texas Health Resources. “When you’re hungry, you just can’t study because you’re focused on the lack of food.”
Thrive North Texas is already in use in Sanger and Lewisville. In the next school year, OD Wyatt will become the third school in North Texas to use the curriculum.
“We are specifically looking for places where we know food security is high or access to healthy food is limited, so-called food deserts,” Ingle said. “So we’re specifically targeting areas where we know access to healthy food is a problem.”
“The number of fast food options vastly outnumbers the healthy options for our students and families in the area,” Robinson said. “It’s also cheaper to eat junk food than healthy food.”
The old portable building on the OD Wyatt campus will be replaced by a new one that will house a grocery store.
“This is one of my first works. Worked at Kroger,” Robinson said. “Therefore, I am delighted with this experience.”
Students will help manage and manage a grocery store, as well as gain job skills. The Thrive North Texas curriculum and store will be open by the start of the next school year.
“Whenever our campus can be a light to our community, that’s what we’re here for,” said Robinson.
Thrive North Texas is scheduled to be in 10 local schools by 2025 as part of a fundraising campaign.