The Building Healthy Schools grant program is a federal initiative administered in the state by the Department of Health and supported by multiple state agencies. It reaches large segments of the population through school districts, early care and education centers, worksites and communities to address chronic disease risk factors and ultimately reduce obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Penn State PRO Wellness has been contracted to deliver the school segment of the Building Healthy Schools grant program. The funding will be used over a five-year period in the development, coordination and administration of the grant program in schools. PRO Wellness will help grant awardees make data-driven decisions that will address nonacademic barriers in an effort to improve health and academic achievement and growth of students. This initiative will build the capacity of 15 school districts to: implement policies and practices that create a supportive nutrition environment; develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive school physical activity programs; and
identify opportunities to create or enhance community access to places for physical activity.
School districts were identified by 2011-2012 Pennsylvania Growth Screening/BMI-for-age percentiles reported annually. Other criteria considered were US Census low-income tracts, School Performance Profile data, participation in PDE’s Promoting Adolescent Health (1308) grant and proximity to planned activities for Healthy Corner Store Initiative and early child care centers