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Family and Community Involvement Resources

Shared Use Agreements

Shared Use Agreements  are a way to increase opportunities for children and adults to be more physically active. It refers to two or more entities — usually a school and a city or private organization — sharing indoor and outdoor spaces like gymnasiums, athletic fields and playgrounds. The concept is simple: share resources to keep costs down and communities healthy. A Best Practices Shared Use Agreement Toolkit has been prepared to assist schools and communities to make shared use a part of their on-going programs.

The Office of Healthy Schools has added a fun and informative section to the OHS Website. This section will provide links and documents related to promoting healthy and active Mississippi kids.

Ground Rules: A Legal Toolkit for Community Gardens

Community gardens offer a place where residents can gather to grow fresh foods, socialize with neighbors, and get a little exercise. In many communities, individuals or other private entities (including nonprofit organizations) own land that could be used for community gardens – but landowners may be reluctant to allow their property to be used for this purpose fearing liability issues, damage, or vandalism.


This toolkit is designed to help overcome the legal and practical barriers to establishing community gardens on land that is not municipally owned. It provides several model agreements and other documents that can easily be tailored, simplifying the process of building an agreement that benefits both landowners and the community.

Land Use Protections—Advocacy document:

Parents for Public Schools
Parents for Public Schools are a national organization of community-based chapters working in public schools through broad-based enrollment. The organization’s proactive involvement helps public schools attract all families in a community by making sure all schools effectively serve all children. 

Mississippi PTA
The mission of the Mississippi Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is to support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children. The Mississippi PTA also assists parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children and to encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools.

We Can! Families Finding the Balance: A Parent Handbook

We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a new public education outreach program designed to help children 8–13 years old stay at a healthy weight through improving food choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time. The program is a collaboration of four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and National Cancer Institute (NCI).
We Can! is unique because it focuses on parents and families in home and community settings. Research shows that parents and families have a big impact on shaping the behavior of children. They can do much to help children maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight.
We Can! is harnessing that power through:

  • Programs in local communities throughout the country
  • Partnerships with other national organizations that care about children and their health
  • A comprehensive Web site for parents (