Bright Spot: Children's Power Play! - California Department of Public Health

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Detailed Description

In response to growing concerns about childhood obesity, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) developed the Children's Power Play! Campaign with the aim of impacting policy and environmental changes to promote social norms that support healthy habits. Focusing on low-income communities (at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level), the campaign works with schools and families to develop a movement of healthy eating and exercise. The intervention uses resiliency and social cognitive theories to reinforce the importance of getting the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, and physical activity each day.

Expected Outcomes

  • Increase awareness of campaign messages
  • Improve psychosocial determinants of fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity
  • Increase of fruit and vegetable intake increases confidence in achieving the physical activity minimum of 60 minutes each day
  • Change policy, systems, and environment to support healthy eating and physical activity
  • Reach 500,000 low-income children across California

Cost Details

No excessive costs. In addition to the cost of implementing the intervention, investment of personnel, training, and/or technology is needed in one program area. USDA SNAP-Ed funds staff time, training, and materials to implement the campaign in low-income communities.

Key Steps for Implementation

  • Engage school/after school staff and community organizations
  • Build relationships with schools and community organizations
  • Promote implementation of nutrition and physical activity education
  • Engage the community through local events, coordinate farm and supermarket tours, work with restaurants and food services
  • Promote behavior changes in low-income students and families through school and after school nutrition and physical activity education with take home activities
  • Grow the intervention into a social movement through reinforcement of Campaign messages with campaign posters, school and community promotions, and advocacy activities


Partnerships with Children's Power Play! Campaign are rooted at the school, household, and community levels. Teachers, communities, and parents are all engaged to create a comprehensive system promoting healthy policies. Community partnerships include opportunities to explore farmer's markets, grocery stores, community gardens and parks, libraries, youth organizations, and more.

Required Staffing (FTEs)

Variable depending upon the organization

Special Funding

The Children's Power Play! Campaign is implemented in low-income communities across the state of California through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed).


  • Regional trainings based on the Individual/family's skills and needs
  • Annual meetings of project coordinators and nutrition educators to promote peer-to-peer learning CDPH provides technical assistance to project coordinators and nutrition educators CDPH issued
  • Campaign implementation toolkit community run trainings for project coordinators and nutrition educators to foster receptiveness

Types of Staff

  • Project coordinators at county level
  • Nutrition educators at county level
  • Bilingual, Spanish and English speaking staff

Outcome Measures

  • Pre/post survey of student's fruit and vegetable intake
  • Pre/post survey of student's physical activity

Process Measures

  • Track total number of children reached
  • Track total number of low-income children reached

 Related Topics

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Children and Youth