Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can lead healthier lives.
The Colorado AFHK state team collaborates with schools, districts and other community partners to engage parent volunteers in school wellness activities. Through our Parents for Healthy Kids educational series and our Parent Advocate Program, we teach parents how to work with schools and how to become advocates for healthier school policies, practices and programs. We give grants to schools and parent organizations to implement alternative breakfast programs, school gardens, nutrition education, physical activity programs and other healthy school practices.
With the second-fastest growing rate of overweight and obese children in the nation, Colorado has a critical need to make our school environment as healthy as possible and parents are an essential, but often overlooked, partner in making this successful. Targeting parents of school-aged children advances the family-school partnership model by empowering parents to bring insight, new ideas and leadership to the planning and implementation process around school health.
Parent Advocate Program
The Colorado AFHK Parent Advocate Program is in its fourth year and is recruiting parents for 2014-2015. Selected parents receive leadership training, coaching, funding assistance and resources to build school health teams and develop school health projects. Parent projects can focus on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity or both, such as:
• Healthy and active classroom parties and family events
• Brain breaks and energizers in the classroom
• Taste tests to introduce students to new fruits and vegetables
• Recess Before Lunch
• Active indoor recess to keep kids moving on inside days
• Before and after school running or activity clubs
• Walk or bike to school programs
• Healthy fundraisers
Program Requirements – applicants must be the parent, guardian or caregiver of a school-age child, have a passion for children's health issues, and be connected to a K-12 school with at least 40% eligibility for free-reduced price school meals. Look up your school's free-reduced rate.
2014-2015 Application Deadlines
September 15, 2014 & January 15, 2015
Parents for Healthy Kids Education Series
Colorado AFHK partners with school districts, parent groups and community organizations to provide in-person trainings to engage parents on school wellness teams and to advocate for healthy school practices.
The Parents for Healthy Kids Leadership Series teaches parents how to work collaboratively within their school communities to improve policy and practices related to school nutrition and physical activity. The multi-part series covers the basics of how school systems work, project planning, wellness policies and the most effective ways to advocate for change. Parents learn how to build awareness, support and momentum for creating healthier school environments by talking about the obesity crisis, reviewing current school customs, and sharing best practices and success stories. They learn how to turn a project into a community effort that has a lasting impact, and they are armed with project ideas and resources related to the school food culture, school meals and physical activity.
The series is also offered nationally as a set of live and archived webinars for all interested parents and school community members. Handouts for each topic area along with supplementary tipsheets and planning forms are available to download individually or as a complete toolkit. Visit the Parents for Healthy Kids page to learn more.
2014 Healthy School Hero Award Winners
Every spring Colorado AFHK honors members of our Parent Network who have helped transform their school's culture around health with "Parents are the Power" Healthy School Hero Awards. Nominated by their school communities, these parents have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service towards the vision, mission and goals of Action for Healthy Kids through volunteer work in their schools. Award winners each receive a $500 health and wellness grant for their school.
Congratulations to our 2014 Healthy School Hero award winners:
- Anne Dalecki Greene – Global Village Academy-Northglenn, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
- Jaila Benjamin – South Routt Elementary School, South Routt School District
- Paula Hough – Fort Morgan High School, Morgan County School District
- Tashmia "Taz" Williams – Ridgeview Elementary School, Falcon School District 49
- Lara Fahnestock – Charles Hay World School, Englewood Schools
- Susan Fox Pinkowitz – University Park Elementary, Denver Public Schools
School Grants for Healthy Kids
Is your school moving to or expanding an alternative model for delivering breakfast to students, like Grab N Go or Breakfast in the Classroom? Studies show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. Eating breakfast improves children’s educational performance, behavior and health. Unfortunately, twenty two percent of Colorado children do not eat breakfast and likely go to school hungry. Our School Grants for Healthy Kids are helping to ensure that kids have access to breakfast and can start their day on a level playing field. We'd like to help fund your school's breakfast program! It's not too late to apply for up to $2000 per school for 2014-2015.
Colorado AFHK Joins Colorado Safe Routes to School Efforts
Colorado AFHK is proud to be part of the Safe Routes to School State Network. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) uses a comprehensive approach to make school routes safe for children when walking and bicycling to school. SRTS programs can improve safety, not just for children, but for the entire community and provide opportunities for people to increase their physical activity and improve their health. Sign up to receive the state network’s monthly e-newsletter, “The Spin” to get information on how communities and organizations can increase the number of Colorado students walking and biking safely to and from school every day.
Share Healthy Food & Activity at School
Birthdays, Celebrations, Family Events, Rewards, Before and After-School Activities, Fundraisers, Fitness Breaks
- Deliver a Share Healthy Food & Activity at School Presentation at your school or in your district.
- Take the DIY Challenge – Create healthy opportunities for students in your school by leading a challenge from our list of Do-It-Yourself activities.
- Introduce a proven wellness program such as Game On! to your school or district.
- Make a donation to support the Colorado AFHK state team’s work.
Seeking Bilingual Community Outreach Specialist
Colorado Action for Healthy Kids is seeking a Spanish-speaking professional to serve as a part-time Community Outreach Specialist for our parent initiatives in Colorado. The position will be responsible for providing support for our local grassroots initiatives targeting culturally diverse school populations and families with specific emphasis on the Latino community, including community outreach, promotion and delivery of AFHK trainings, programs and services.
Job Description: Bilingual Community Outreach Specialist