ConnectEd - Action for Healthy Kids
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Over 15 million children have been diagnosed with a mental, emotional, or behavioral condition—and depression and anxiety are on the rise. We make sure social emotional health is a priority and kids grow up with safe and nurturing environments.

Strong emotional health is vital for ensuring kids develop positive relationships, healthy coping skills, and responsible decision-making abilities. It impacts a child’s entire well-being from adult and peer interactions to risk behaviors to attitudes toward school and other activities. Focusing on social emotional health means giving kids the confidence and skills to build resilience and to cope with and manage stress, anxieties and risk in a healthy way.

But about 60% of students do not receive treatment for their mental and emotional health struggles. Due to stigma and lack of access to care in various communities across the U.S., school becomes the only place where many kids can get help. This means that schools should strive to be culturally responsive, supportive environments that focus on the whole child and recognize the importance of their emotional needs. In addition to having counselors and social workers on staff, schools should incorporate social emotional learning into curriculum and into classroom and disciplinary practices.

What is AFHK doing?

Our ConnectEd program combines age appropriate evidence-based SEL curriculum instruction with experiential learning and positive youth development. We do this by:

  • Building strong family-school partnerships that enhance individual and collective capacity to serve as trusted nurturing adults for children and implement sustainable programming to support social-emotional learning and risk behavior prevention at school and at home.
  • Providing district staff with training and support to improve district-level policies and practices that strengthen the social-emotional climate and promote positive staff wellness initiatives.
  • Awarding school grants and providing assistance so that schools can implement new initiatives and programs that promote the connection of physical activity and nutrition with social-emotional health and build opportunities for developmentally-appropriate social emotional learning, responsible decision-making and character development.
  • Creating resources and activities that children, caregivers and school staff can use at home or at school to promote social-emotional learning, skills development and the mind-body connection.

How you can help:

No matter who you are, you can help make sure kids are spending more time moving and seeing the all-around health benefits of being physically active.

See how ConnectEd is a part of our holistic model for school health. 



Unique School Spaces Offer Joy, Freedom, and Health to Students and Community

Whitaker Elementary School is truly a space that benefits everyone thanks to parent and community input, volunteering, and work that helped build a “Be Hive” to transform students’ social emotional health. Learn more about how they promote experiential learning and mindfulness.


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Get Inspired

For more articles about how schools and parents across the country have improved kids’ health through increased physical activity and play, view our success stories.

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