Schools play a critical role in helping children develop lifelong healthy habits. Children spend up to half of their waking hours in school, making it an ideal place to teach healthy habits, but also to provide an environment that supports healthy behaviors. Children with unhealthy behaviors or chronic conditions may miss more school, have lower academic achievement, and face more social and emotional challenges. When school health policies and practices are put in place, opportunities exist for all students to grow to be healthy and successful adults.
The HLI provides a framework for community collaboration and alignment across sectors, including schools. These methods are based on approaches that contribute to lowering rates of childhood obesity and increasing practices of healthy lifestyle behaviors. The HLI encourages partners to consider incorporating strategies such as a consistent community messaging and policy change to create a “MAPPS” for Change plan for your school.
“MAPPS” for Change strategies:
As a partner, you can download 12345 Fit-Tastic! handouts and materials, you’ll receive email updates and newsletters from us, and you’ll be added the HLI partner network!
There are many ways schools can incorporate the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative and MAPPS for Change strategies. Here are some examples from school partners:
To get ideas for school wellness polices and practices, see our Healthy Schools Working Group’s top 11 school wellness policies, complete with resources for administrators, staff and families.
Additional resources for creating healthy and active school environments can be found below: