Expanding the Healthy Schools Program in states with the highest prevalence of obesity, 2007-2011

During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among children of all age groups, increasing nearly fivefold among those ages 6 to 11. Creating healthy school environments is an essential component of the Foundation's strategy to prevent childhood obesity. Because 97 percent of youth in the United States attend schools, spending six to eight hours a day on school campuses, it's essential that school policies and environments enable and encourage children to eat well and be active. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program represents the Foundation's largest investment in school-based efforts under its major initiative to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States by 2015. The Healthy Schools Program was launched with Foundation support in 2006 to help schools develop healthy environments and to recognize those schools that succeed in doing so, and aims to: establish healthy school environments as an education priority; provide healthy food options for students during the regular and extended school day; increase opportunities for students to exercise and be physically active; and develop programs for teachers and staff to become healthy role models.For each objective, the program has developed policy, program and practice standards based on the best available evidence for affecting youth physical activity and eating behaviors. These standards serve as the basis for support to schools and for the recognition program. Support to schools is provided through onsite and virtual technical assistance. As of May 2007, 230 pilot schools in 13 states are receiving hands-on technical assistance, and more than 900 schools are enrolled in the virtual support program. Through these combined efforts, the program already is reaching nearly 750,000 students. To reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015, RWJF needs wide-scale efforts with the potential to increase healthy eating and active living for millions of kids. This grant supports the expansion or introduction of the Healthy Schools Program in up to 17 states with the highest prevalence of obesity. It will enable the program to provide hands-on assistance to at least 6,400 additional schools that serve vulnerable populations and to offer online and phone support to all interested schools.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $19,975,607.00

Awarded on: 8/20/2007

Time frame: 8/15/2007 - 12/31/2011

Grant Number: 61099


American Heart Association Inc.

7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, 75231-4599


Ginny Ehrlich
Project Director


Debra Skriba
Project Director