The project was part of the October 2002 "Healthy Schools Summit: Taking Action for Children's Nutrition and Fitness," in Washington, sponsored by some 30 organizations and attended by more than 500 national and state leaders representing diverse spheres —education, health care, food service, communities and others. The national summit grew out of the 2001 "Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity," from the U.S. Surgeon General's office.
The National Dairy Council developed the Healthy School Heroes Awards, through which 27 individuals received public recognition for exemplary work to create health-promoting schools in 2002.
Award nominations came from summit partners, with representatives of six organizations making the final selections.
Recipients were teachers, school administrators, nurses, state department of education staff members, health professionals and a state senator.
Each hero also selected a recipient for a $1,000 grant to support work on improving children's nutrition and physical activity.