Action for Healthy Kids is the nation’s leading non-profit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by partnering with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity to help our kids learn to eat right, be active every day, and be ready to learn.
During the 2008-09 school year, Pennsylvania Action for Healthy Kids joined with The Food Trust to implement the Campaign for School Wellness Philadelphia. This partnership brought schools, parents, students, and community organizations together to create healthier school environments. Parents and community members were involved in the planning process to ensure that they were empowered, involved, and invested in school changes.
A significant accomplishment of the campaign was to secure a place at the table for nutrition and physical fitness in each school, spark internal discussions, reignite school wellness teams, and raise awareness among students, parents, and the community about the importance of healthy schools and healthy kids.
- The Pennsylvania Team worked with five schools, reaching close to 2,200 students.
- The Campaign for School Wellness reached over 1,000 parents and community members.
- The Team will recruit active volunteers across the state to create healthy schools for our children.
- We will train schools to use Fuel Up to Play 60 to build awareness of school wellness.
- We will partner with Pennsylvania Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and The Food Trust to implement the Students Taking Charge program in 15 high schools across the Commonwealth.
- We will enhance collaboration with the other state associations and organizations to advance our action plan. A subcommittee is exploring opportunities for participation in the 2010 Keystone Health Promotion Conference.
There are many opportunities to get involved with Action for Healthy Kids in Pennsylvania--from becoming a team member, to attending Action for Healthy Kids’ events, to making a financial contribution--you can help create a safer environment for our kids! If you feel compelled to lend your voice to one of most important issues of our time, and would like to take that first step towards creating a healthier environment for our kids, join the Action for Healthy Kids community by taking the Every Kid Healthy Pledge on the left-hand side of the page.
Team Healthy Kids is our network of supporters raising awareness and funds to reverse childhood obesity. You can run a marathon, walk a 5K, go bowling or do nearly anything else Join Team Healthy Kids now to get started !
Celebrate Every Kid Healthy week April 21st- 25th!
Get your school involved in making healthy changes! Implement different wellness initiatives by hosting an event in April to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week! Demonstrate your school's commitment to healthy kids and healthy families and Register your event today to bring together school and community members, parents, and families to get involved! Registration for events ends March 31st.
Our Favorite Resources
The Pennsylvania Team developed a series of parent fact sheets. These reproducible masters address nutrition, physical education, child nutrition programs, and ways in which parents can support a healthy school environment.
- Fundraising - Provides fundraising options that send positive health messages to students, parents, and the community.
- Healthy Rewards for Children – Provides suggestions for kid-friendly rewards that do not compromise health or nutrition
- National School Lunch Program – Provides answers to questions about the National School Lunch Program
- Quality Physical Education – Provides a overview of quality physical education
- School Breakfast - Provides answers to questions about the national School Breakfast Program
- School Wellness Policies - Provides answers to questions about school wellness policies
School & Community Grants Available
Mini-grant of up to $1,500 available through Team Nutrition funding! Learn more at Project PA. The mini-grant is for Pennsylvania schools to use to improve nutrition environments. Qualifying schools must be sponsors of the National School Lunch Program. Funding is intended to help schools address challenges related to implementing new meal patterns and new nutritional standards for competitive foods and meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge. For more information and the application form, please visit the Project PA website.
Success Story: James R. Ludlow School
The Action for Healthy Kids grant has made a tremendous impact on the students of James R. Ludlow School in Philadelphia. The school’s health teacher, Sally Moore used the AFHK School grant to leverage wellness and activity programs that positively affected all 330 students attending Ludlow.
By replacing recess equipment and encouraging teachers to incorporate movement breaks into lessons, the school used the grant money to promote physical activity. Next, Moore noticed the types of food students were being sent to school with or picking up along the way. “I used to see black bags from corner stores every morning for breakfast. They would have sugary drinks and chips first thing in the morning because they didn’t know any better,” Moore remarked. The school district set up a wellness policy for teachers to implement to students with four main criteria to look for on their nutrition labels: saturated fat, total fat, sugar and salt. “Based on those criteria we decide if the snack they brought is ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’ If the snack is ‘thumbs down’ it will get traded in for a healthier snack that we pre-purchased, like whole grain cereal or low-fat string cheese – they love the cheese,” observed Moore.
The impact Moore sees in her school is palpable. “I can hear kids making right decisions in the halls. I see water bottles instead of sodas. These are the positive changes our community needs and it is so rewarding to see the kids pick up on these healthy habits.” Moore’s work is not done – she has many plans still in the works. For example, one plan is having fresh fruits available from farmer’s markets at the beginning of every school week. Her overall goal for her students: “We need to find a new norm.”