D.C. Healthy Schools Act
In May 2010, the D.C. Council passed the Healthy Schools Act, a landmark law designed to improve the health and wellness of students attending D.C. public and public charter schools. The Act took effect August 2010.
This website will introduce you to specific components of the act and resources to get your local schools involved.
Now that the Act is in the second year of implementation, see the year one – DC Healthy Schools Act Year One Snapshot (pdf) – and year two – Report on the Health, Wellness and Nutrition of Youth and Schools in the District of Columbia (pdf) – accomplishments.
OSSE Announces 2014-15 School Garden Grant Recipients
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education announced the 21 District public and public charter schools selected as grant recipients through the School Garden Grant program, an initiative of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act. Collectively, nearly $300,000 in grant funds will be distributed between March 2014 and March 2015 to facilitate garden-based learning and nutrition education. More…
Get 60 Minutes
The IOM report says that even with busy schedules, youth can get 60 minutes of physical activity per day through taking advantage of active transport to and from school, classroom activity time, recess, physical education class, after-school programs, and intra and extramural sports. More…
Washington Post article: Playworks coaches help put the fun back in recess at 14 D.C. schools
“…14 public and charter schools in the District have overhauled recess dramatically to make playtime a priority.” More…
Report on the Health, Wellness and Nutrition of Youth and Schools in the District of Columbia – 2012-2013 (pdf)
This Report assesses the overall implementation of the HSA of 2010 and its 2011 amendments. Instead of providing a detailed title by title analysis of HSA implementation and next steps, the Commission has opted to focus its 2013 report on the city’s progress in five priority areas: Physical and Health Education, Evaluation, Promotion of the HSA, DC Universal Health Certificate (UHC) Collection Rates, and Mental Health Screenings. For each area, the report highlights: significant achievements, select best practices adopted by other states and schools, and recommendations.
Missed Meals Missed Opportunities – Washington D.C. Remains First in the Nation for Reaching Children with Meals during the Summer Months but the Program Still Fails to Reach Thousands
The District of Columbia has ranked first in the nation for reaching low-income children with summer meals for eight consecutive years, but participation needs to grow to reach thousands of additional children and teens. According to a report released by D.C. Hunger Solutions and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, participation in the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program dropped from an average of 29,036 participants eating lunch each day in 2007 to an average of 21,514 in 2012. Participation decreased every year between 2007 and 2012, with the exception of 2010. More…
DC School Garden Grants Announced, Applications Due January 31st
OSSE invites LEA’s or gardening-focused community-based organizations to apply for a School Garden Grant. Follow this link to the request for applications, eligibility requirements and application form.
Healthy Schools Act Art & Essay Contest Winners
On October 7th, a panel of 8 judges convened and decided 14 winners for this year’s Healthy Schools Act Student Art & Essay Contest. The Division of Wellness and Nutrition Services received nearly 200 entries across four grade groups (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and expanded the awards structure to include 4th places for the K-2 and 3-5 grade groups. The winners will receive a monetary award and plaque for their school. The 14 award-winning students were announced at the Growing Healthy Schools Week kick-off event at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS on Monday, October 21, 2013 Congratulations to all of the participants!
D.C. Students Enjoy the “Crunch Heard ‘Round the World”
On October 24th at 10am, 10,000 students across D.C. will simultaneously sink their teeth into crisp, Fall apples generously provided by Whole Foods Market. Spearheaded by Food Day and organized by DC Greens, “Capital Crunch” is part of Growing Healthy Schools Week, a celebration of farm to school and school garden programs across the district. During the week there will be many exciting events that aim to connect students with healthy food in their community. Follow this link to learn more about Growing Health Schools Week and some of the great events taking place.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Teacher Workshop
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is a USDA program that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to K-5th students during the school day. More than 80 D.C. public and charter schools are enrolled in this year’s program. This teacher workshop will focus on how to maximize the benefits of the program for student and introduce teachers to DC Greens classroom resources. Find out more… (pdf)
Growing Healthy Schools Week is October 20-26, 2013.
Michelle Obama, Shaquille O’Neal talk fitness at D.C. elementary school
On September 6, 2013 , students at Orr Elementary School in Southeast DC got a special visit from First Lady Michelle Obama and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal as part of an assembly to promote the “Let’s Move” campaign. Recognizing the school’s dedication to promoting healthy behaviors, Obama praised the students and school leadership for embracing new, healthier lunches and expressing hope that “every school in America with follow DC’s lead.” More…
October 9, 2013 is International Walk to School Day
Start an event at your school or join an existing effort to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity. Follow this link to see which schools in your community have already registered. If you’re the first, register your event for free. Then take advantage of these resources to start planning your event. Check out tips for planning your first Walk to School Day event, event planning ideas, incentive suggestions, and more.
Healthy Schools Act Infographic
OSSE, in partnership with the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission and D.C. Hunger Solutions, is launching a citywide campaign to educate the public about the transformative potential of the Healthy Schools Act. A new infographic shows how the Act is working to help schools, students and families: 1) Eat Right, 2) Stay Active, 3) Learn Healthy Habits, 4) Care for the Environment, and 5) Create Healthier Communities. Across the District, information about the Act will be featured at bus stops and on banners at public, public charter schools, and participating private schools.
Healthy Schools Act Essay Contest Entries Due Friday October 4th
We are excited to announce the Healthy Schools Act Art and Essay Contest. Students may submit an essay, poem, drawing, painting, original photograph, or video telling us how their school is doing in terms of promoting health and wellness. This is a great opportunity for students and schools to be recognized for their great efforts towards making our schools healthier. Click here for more information.
Farm to School and School Garden Report
This report outlines the District’s farm to school and school garden initiatives, the state of school gardens, and recommendations for improvement. Click here to read the full report.
DC Healthy Schools Act Breakfast
On August 15th, 2013, D.C. Hunger Solutions hosted a Healthy Schools Act Breakfast, in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the Commission on Healthy Youth and Schools, for community and afterschool providers. More than 30 community partners attended. Highlights of the event included: an overview of the goals of the Healthy Schools Act, strategies for integrating the District’s health education and physical education and activity standards into community programming, a pre-screening of an interactive map that will show the various health and wellness programs in DC public and public charter schools, and group brainstorming sessions. All participants received copies of the brand new Healthy Schools Act infographic (pdf) and other resources to promote healthy eating and active living in their programming.
BiycleSPACE DC School Garden Tour June 2013
BicycleSPACE led a DC School Garden Tour recently– a trip that brought participants to 5 area schools where gardening has become an important part of the curriculum for students. Representatives from each of the schools (Capitol Montessori at Logan, Stuart Hobson Middle School,Jefferson Middle School, Mundo Verde Public Charter School, and HD Cooke Elementary School) greeted participants upon arrival and spoke about their gardens. Follow this link to more information on this and future DC School Garden Tours and other educational-themed rides.
Annual DC SCORES Jamboree
On June 1st, DC SCORES hosted its 18th Annual DC SCORES Jamboree. Over 1,450 youth representing 45 schools joined hundreds of parents, dozens of volunteers, and program partners at Anacostia Park. To give an idea of just how large the event was, 128 elementary and middle school soccer games were played on 14 fields. Additionally, former U.S. Women’s National Team members including Angela Hucles, Heather Mitts and others taught soccer techniques and played games with the DC SCORES students. Revolution Foods, the event’s lunch provider, teamed up with DC Hunger Solutions to lead a station where students created nutritious snacks — such as a yogurt parfait with peaches and berries — to keep them feeling good during the long, hot day of soccer. More…
2013 DC Physical Activity for Youth (DC PAY) Grant Awards Announced
Physical education and health education are important components of a healthy school environment. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School, a recent report published by the Institute of Medicine, confirms the benefits of adding physical activity to the school day. In DC, the Healthy Schools Act provides funding for schools to increase their physical activity before, during and after the school day through the DC Physical Activity for Youth (DC PAY) grant program. Follow this link to the list of 2013 grant winners.
The DC Farm to School Network’s dietetic intern Catherine has been hard at work on a raw-prep cookbook to celebrate school garden harvests each season. More than 30 easy to prepare recipes showcase a different garden delight. Give them a try in your school garden or at home! Explore the F(un)-Cook Book (pdf) and follow her week of cooking demos in D.C. schools via twitter!
Healthy Lunchtime Challenge
First Lady Michelle Obama is again teaming up with Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture to host a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy eating among America’s youth. For more information and submission guidelines, visit this website. Also, visit the Healthy Schools Act tip page to see how District schools are engaging school administrators, students, families and community organizations around healthy eating.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Hosted by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition — a who’s who of 25 Americans appointed by President Barack Obama to represent healthy lifestyles — the initiative is simple: to motivate all Americans to get more physical activity. Watch the PSA below for more information and ideas for staying active:
May 23 – Farm to School 101 Training (pdf)
Hosted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education & the DC Farm to School Network at DC Greens.
Grants Available to Support School Breakfast and Physical Activity
Action for Healthy Kids, partnering with CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company, and the Walmart Foundation are offering grants for the 2013-2014 school year to support increasing breakfast participation or adding more minutes of physical activity for students. Awards will be given to over 400 schools ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Applications are due April 19, 2013. More…
Report on the Health, Wellness and Nutrition of Youth and Schools in the District of Columbia
The Report assesses the overall implementation of the HSA of 2010 and its 2011 amendments with a focus on the following key areas of the Act: School Nutrition – Title II, Farm to School – Title III, Physical and Health Education – Title IV, Environment – Title V, and Health and Wellness – Title VI. For each area, the report highlights: significant achievements, select best practices adopted by other states and schools, and recommendations. More… (pdf)
Physical Activity Grant Opportunity
The Division of Wellness and Nutrition Services within the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is soliciting grant applications for the District of Columbia Physical Activity for Youth (DC PAY) program. The purpose of this program is to increase the capacity of DC schools to provide physical activity to all students before, during, or after the school day. More… (pdf)
USDA Farm to School Grants Available
Three different kinds of grants are available:
- Planning grants, intended for schools just getting started on farm to school activities;
- Implementation grants, available for schools seeking to augment or expand existing efforts;
- Support service grants, for eligible non-profit entities, Indian tribal organizations, state and local agencies, and agriculture producers or groups of producers, to conduct trainings, create complementary curriculum, or further develop supply chains, among other activities.
Proposals are due at midnight EST, April 24, 2013. To assist eligible entities in preparing proposals, USDA will host a series of webinars related to the application process:
- March 5, 2013, 1:00 EST – Planning Grants
- March 6, 2013, 1:00 EST – Implementation Grants
- March 7, 2013, 1:00 EST – Support Service Grants
New Report Shows School Breakfast Participation Continues to Grow in Washington, D.C.
D.C. Healthy Schools Act Ensures Low-Income Children Have Access to Healthy Meals at School
The School Breakfast Scorecard, a report released annually by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), found that D.C. served 69.5 low-income children breakfast for every 100 that received lunch during the 2011-2012 school year, which is an increase from the previous school year’s high of 64.2 students for every 100 receiving school lunch. More…
DC Healthy Schools Act Hearing
A public hearing will take place on Thursday, December 13 at 11am in the Wilson Building to discuss implementation of the HSA of 2010 and the District’s Environmental Literacy Plan. More…
VIDEO: Ballou High School’s Entry to the Fit for our Future Video Competition 2012
Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to announce grant funding…
…to support elementary schools’ wellness initiatives for the 2013 calendar year. With generous funding from Stop & Shop/Giant Family Foundation, AFHK will award 40 schools with $1,000 each to impact nutrition and/or physical activity programming. Grants are currently only available in the following states: Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Grant introduction webinar: Monday, December 3 at 4:00 pm. Deadline for submission: Friday, December 14. More…
Book available – A Year of Being Well: Messages from Families on Living Healthier Lives…
…Stories of people who have pinpointed areas in their everyday life that could be healthier, and changed them. Their stories are spread over 13 chapters, one a month for a year, each giving a specific action. Schools and communities can order the book in bulk. More…
10,000 DC Students Participate in Growing Healthy Schools Week 2012
62 schools participated, involving 10,000 students; 34 chefs demos reached over 1,000 students. More…
USDA Awards Grant to DC Central Kitchen to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools
DC Central Kitchen’s project – “Capacity for Change: Growing a Year-Round Farm to School Program” – will focus on infrastructure development. More… (pdf)
Grants available – Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge
Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to announce grant funding to support elementary schools’ wellness initiatives for the 2013 calendar year. With generous funding from Stop & Shop/Giant Family Foundation, AFHK will award 40 schools with $1,000 each to impact nutrition and/or physical activity programming. Learn more…