Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

School-Community Initiatives with HKC

Nationwide, healthy lifestyles are getting a boost from Healthy Kids Challenge® school and community partnerships. Like these partners, become a part of the wellness solution today!


Orange County Public Schools (OCPS)

OCPS LogoOrange County Public Schools, (OCPS), Orlando, Florida and HKC have been Partners in Health for several years now. From energizing school wellness teams to offering creative ways to get kids excited about school meals through the HKC Ready, Set, Cook and Eat™  event, to showcasing how to integrate nutrition education into science and math curriculum, many success stories exist together.

OCPS participated in the Chefs Move to Schools program and was recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! initiative with the presence of White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Chef Sam Kass and Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition & Consumer Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) both in attendance at a special school event.

S.H.I.P. School Health Initiative Project, Williamsburg, Virginia

The S.H.I.P. (School Health Initiative Project), Williamsburg, Virginia, is a three year initiative funded by The Williamsburg Community Health Foundation. Following CDC’s Coordinated School Health Model, the design for the initiative was created by HKC staff working alongside school and community leadership.

With goals and success in adding more minutes of motion during the school day; healthier food options; parent-student-staff participation in setting personal and team goals; collaboration with community programs; and policies to support changes, Williamsburg is making a long range commitment to their children and the future of their community. For examples of success, look at best practices from Williamsburg and other school initiatives.

C.H.A.N.G.E. (Connect Health and Needs, Get Excited) McPherson, Kansas

Schools are in the process of identifying and making wellness policies actionable. This pilot, funded by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, Topeka, Kansas is seeking to identify the resources needed and barriers encountered in the process of developing school environments, policies, and practices more supportive of healthy eating and physical activity choices.

Lafayette County Health Department, Lexington, Missouri

This rural county east of Kansas City has begun an initiative to support kids and families in making healthy eating and physical activity a habit. The county has formed partnership with HKC to present annual school workshops. These highly interactive and motivational workshops reach teachers, nurses, administrators, and others. After the first workshop, one school, Wellington-Napoleon R-IX School District was so highly motivated they applied to HKC-CIGNA Showcase initiative.

A.I.M., Leoti, Kansas

A.I.M. (Add fruits & veggies - Increase physical activity - Minimize screen time) is having a huge impact on this small, rural Kansas community, located very close to the Colorado border! In partnership with HKC, the A.I.M. Community Wellness Coalition is actively supporting the school’s goal of staff wellness. A kick-off workshop motivated staff involvement and ownership. Through modeling of healthy behaviors; environmental, policy and practices changes, A.I.M. is helping to make strides for healthy kids.

Platte County Health Department, Platte, Missouri

In 2001, the Platte County Health Department took the Challenge by calling HKC, the nation’s leading school-based health initiative, to encourage children and families make healthy eating and physical activity a lifetime habit. Since that day, a partnership was formed that has grown in size and scope with helping schools and kids.

Platte and Clay county 5-20 year old children and youth are also overweight or obese. “What’s even more alarming,” states Sarah Hampl, MD, pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, “is that rates of overweight and obesity in Platte County’s 2-5 year olds are around 30% as well. This is higher than any other county in the metro area.”

The Platte County Health Department (PCHD) & HKC continue to provide training for elementary and middle school teachers, nurses, food service staff, administrators, school KidLink™ teams, and community leaders. Interactive workshops provide creative ideas designed to link schools, communities, families, and kids together to create healthier environments. Read more about PCHD and other successes in best practices.

Junior League

The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI), with 293 Junior Leagues in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

In 2006, the Association launched the international initiative, Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen, that aims to impact childhood obesity and poor nutrition by educating the public at the grassroots level. Junior Leagues conduct educational programs in partnership with local community organizations in order to raise awareness and provide solutions for this growing epidemic. HKC is partnering with AJLI to provide educational tools and tips for Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen leaders. Providing kids hands-on experience with cooking skills helps develop healthy habits. Check out best practices for ideas to help kids learn by doing.

Field Trip Factory

HKC and Field Trip Factory are partnering to share joint visions in guiding communities to make healthy living a habit for kids and their families. Field Trip Factory has been a leader in experience-based learning for over 15 years.

In many communities, Field Trip Factory is providing community-based field trips, which address a variety of social needs and also support children’s classroom curriculum. One of the field trip options transforms local grocery aisles into learning centers as students sample their way to a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy, making smart choices and learning how to integrate exercise into daily living are the primary messages of these hands-on field trips.

Field Trip Factory trips are customized for grades PreK-8. Check out what is available in your area today at or call 800-987-6409 for more information.

Kansas Kids C.A.N. (Connect Activity and Nutrition) Grant

Kansas Kids C.A.N. (Connect Activity and Nutrition), a three year grant awarded by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, Topeka, Kansas, focused on adding physical activity and healthy eating components to existing youth programs. The Pioneer Health Network, a primary healthcare provider and network system in southwest Kansas, provided support with communication and through involvement of hospital administrators.

Forty-three programs, including community libraries, schools, healthcare clinics, county extension, YMCAs, and PHN hospitals across a 16 county area participated. HKC served as the grant coordinator, training team, and technical support to develop sustainable program practices and networks. Learn more about Kansas Kids C.A.N. in the best practices section.

Communication Competencies in Dietetics Practice Grant, Kansas State University

HKC stepped in to begin to answer a shift in public need and demand from disease care to disease prevention in nutrition services. Dietetics and the professional competencies identified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (American Dietetic Association), traditionally, have been focused on clinical care and institutional management. An epidemic increase in the rate of obesity, and other related chronic diseases, has accelerated the need for new dietitian competencies including marketing, assessing, evaluating, and developing health promotion programs.

A grant by the Topeka, Kansas based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans made it possible for HKC to collaborate with the Kansas State University department of Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Management, and Dietetics to develop an online course to help students meet American Dietetic Association specific community competencies and the course debuted fall semester 2007.

The Cluthe & William B. Oliver Foundation, Houston, Texas

The Oliver Foundation is led by Tom Woehler, M.D. Dr. Woehler has been a physician in the Houston area for over 30 years. Along with his wife, Deborah Woehler, M.S., R.D., L.D., the two have teamed up to create a dynamic and innovative family foundation that places a high value on healthy lifestyle and the importance of guiding youth.

In 2003, the Woehlers joined forces with the nationally recognized HKC in an effort to promote a unified and proven message for children about healthy eating and lifestyle choices. HKC staff served as consultants to the Oliver Foundation and were strategic in the design, training-the-trainer, and implementation of current initiatives with Fort Bend Independent School District, the ninth largest school district in the country, and Neighborhood Centers Inc., six community centers and a charter school that serve a diverse population in the Houston area. From innovative programming to the creation of a teen board to help guide the work with youth, read more about the Oliver Foundation efforts in the best practices section.