Banner: Healthier Schools

Healthy school environments are paramount for the proper development of Latino children, given the rising percentage of Latino students enrolled in public schools and the higher rates of obesity among Latino children than other racial/ethnic groups.

How can healthy schools be the norm for Latinos?

Implementing and enforcing stronger nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages will help all students have access to healthier snacks at school, which may positively influence body mass index (BMI) trends for all populations, especially those at greatest risk of being overweight or obese.

Because Latino students engage in less physical activity both in and out of school than their peers, implementing programs that reduce barriers may increase active play opportunities for Latino kids.

Moreover, regulation of the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children will help positively influence the quality of their diets.

Download Our New 2016 Healthier Schools Research Review, Issue Brief, and Infographics!

Research Review
Infographic: Physical Activity

Healthier Schools: What‘s New?

See SA! Changes SA! Resources Salud Heroes in this topic.

SA! Change Georgia Schools “Go Green” with Local Produce

Glynn County School District, Georgia

Dawn Lewis, director of culinary services for Glynn County schools told local news Golden Isles that 20% of the menu items at their school are now locally sourced. Working towards the Vision 2020 for School Nutrition Initiative, the school hopes to implement healthier local foods into the school’s menu, highlighting Georgia farmers and the school’s local campus garden. … Read more

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SA! Change Robla School District Gets Hydration Stations & Healthy Walking Program!

Robla Elementary School District, California

After United Way’s Young Leaders Society, the Robla School District and the Health Education Council helped raise over $25,000 dollars to provide hydration stations at each school in the Robla School District (54% Latino), the district went a step further for health, literally. How? In the fall of 2015, after the Health Education Council met … Read more

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SA! Change School Nurse Starts School Garden To Encourage Healthy Eating

Clayton School District, Missouri

Students are encouraged to eat healthy lunches, but what if there was a program to increase efforts of consumption of fruits and vegetables while in school? Now students at Meramec Elementary are enjoying more fruits and vegetables in their diets at school. The school was also selected as a 2016 Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) … Read more

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SA! Resource Guam Gets Fit with Fit Fridays

On February third, the Ordot -Chalan Pago Elementary School (OCPES) kicked off the school-wide event for a SNAP-Ed program called “Fit Fridays” to encourage students to have at least one hour of regular physical activity every day. Health champions that helped lead the event were Principal of OCPES, Tricia Moylan and School Nurse, Leah Landstrom. Ordot-Chalan … Read more

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SA! Resource Report: 3 Ways to Enhances Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in Schools

In a 2015 report Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan For Reducing Poverty and Restoring The American Dream, published by AEI & the Brookings Institute, three policies that promote Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) are examined. According to the report, schools have not focused “sufficiently on the socioemotional factors that are crucial to learning.” The … Read more

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SA! Resource What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) & How Can it Impact School Wellness?

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to: understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make … Read more

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SA! Resource Local School Wellness Policy in 2017

In July 2016, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) finalized regulations that create guidelines for written wellness policies established by local educational agencies (LEAs). The final rule requires LEAs to develop revised local school wellness policies during School Year 2016-2017. Schools must be compliant with these requirements June 30, 2017. To meet them minimum requirements … Read more

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SA! Change County-wide Health Initiative to Open School Grounds After Hours in Arizona

Latino Health Physical Activity School Shared Use

Roosevelt Elementary District, Arizona

School playgrounds, fields, and gyms sit unused afterschool and on weekends in Maricopa County, Arizona (30.5% Latino), and across the country, because schools are locked up after classes end. Access to safe places to play is critical to reduce obesity among Latino kids and families and boost their mental, physical, and emotional health. However, schools close … Read more

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SA! Resource 19 Evidence-Based Strategies for Recess

Latino Health Physical Activity Recess School

Recess can help kids get their 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity to reduce their risk of developing lifelong chronic diseases, like heart disease, and diabetes, and to improve their academic performance and mental health. Unfortunately, Latino kids have fewer opportunities before, after, and during school for physical activity than white kids. The Centers for … Read more

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SA! Change Parents Lead the Way in Healthy School Lunches

Napa Valley Unified School District, California

Napa Valley Unified School District, (33.9% Latino) operates 32 schools within the district and now is working towards healthier and tastier school lunches as parents have come together to get the district to change what it offers for students lunches. The lunch reform movement started in recent years with a passionate group of parents that were wanting … Read more

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SA! Change Las Vegas High School Creates Fitness Studio from a Storage Room

Clark County School District, Nevada

Students at Western High School in Las Vegas (64.7% Latino), now have their very own yoga studio thanks to a unique partnership between sportswear retailer Lululemon and Create a Change Now, a Las Vegas non-profit agency. The two groups and local artists D2 came together to transform an old storage space into a state-of-the art … Read more

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SA! Change Fox Farm Plants Hope For Health in Southern California Elementary School

Pasadena Unified School District, California

Within the Pasadena Unified School District (53.6% Latino students), students at Altadena’s Franklin Elementary School celebrate their first harvest from their school garden, Fox Farm. According to Pasadena Now, Franklin Elementary School is considered one of the most underserved elementary schools in the District (72% Latino), where more than 40% are English learners, more than … Read more

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SA! Change Laredo ISD Cooks Up a Healthy Challenge With Nickelodeon TV Star

Laredo Independent School District, Texas

A new “Lean & Green” movement is helping schools all around the nation incorporate vegetarian meals and more vegetables into school lunches. Creating an event similar to the popular television show top chef, Laredo independent school district (98.9% Latino) is holding its own top chef event through the support of The Humane Society of the … Read more

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SA! Change Healthy Kingsport Initiative Keeps Kids Healthy & Hydrated

Sullivan County, Tennessee

TimeNews  recently reported about how water bottles, hydrations stations, morning miles and a new playground are all a part of a bigger movement to get kids healthy in Sullivan County, Tenn where over 72.9% of adults are overweight or obese. A new campaign that works with the schools is taking root and helping to bring clean and easily … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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