Orange County has a reputation for good health and for being one of the most affluent communities in the country, but still, there is a high disparity between family income and the cost of living, which affects the health of those living in economically disadvantaged areas. Our goal is to increase the number of Healthy Schools in Orange County to 50 by 2024, with 43 of these being Title I schools.
Our Healthy Schools Initiative is an evidence-based effort that partners with parents, school districts, agencies and community organizations to empower schools to promote the health and wellbeing of their community. We believe it is a shared responsibility to work together and create beneficial school environments to ensure the overall prosperity and success of each child.
*Source: OC CHKS 19-20
**Source: Second Harvest Food Bank
INVESTING IN THE HEALTH OF ORANGE COUNTY’S FUTURE
- Students who are physically active tend to do better academically, have better memory, better classroom behaviors and miss less school days.
- Adolescents who are healthy are more likely to graduate from high school on time and attend college or post-secondary education.
- Healthy youth will grow up to be healthy, productive adults.
- If we invest in the health of our youth today, we can ensure a healthier tomorrow for future generations.
THREE PROGRAMMATIC PILLARS
Increase the number of physical activity opportunities and active play minutes at school. This can be in the form of hiring a physical education teacher, promoting safe places to play and be active, or parent-led structured play activities.
Improving nutrition literacy among students, teachers, and parents includes providing healthier choices for foods and beverages. Examples include, but are not limited to, installing hydration stations that offer great-tasting, temperature-regulated water instead of sugary drinks and improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables through school pantries and school-based farmer’s markets.
Having a community- and parent-led wellness committee at the school site enables sustainable policy changes and ensures the culture of the school is centered around health and wellness.
Our revised FACE 2024℠ 2.0 goal is to increase the number of Healthy Schools – a national recognition from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation – in Orange County, focusing on Title I schools in low-income areas that receive supplemental federal funding. The schools listed below have partnered with us in our Healthy Schools Initiative and have earned the following designations:
- Gold Award – Walnut Elementary
La Habra City School District
- Silver Award – Pacific Drive Elementary
Fullerton School District
- Silver Award – Whitaker Elementary
Buena Park School District
- Silver Award – Paul Revere Elementary
Anaheim Elementary School District
WHAT SCHOOL OFFICIALS ARE SAYING
"The involvement I have had with United Way has been absolutely amazing. It was like a major think tank. We were able to bring in an outstanding physical education teacher who has inspired our students."
"Since the start of the Healthy Schools Initiative, we've seen parents who are on-board with the new policy and fewer sugary treats coming through our office. More students are eating during lunch, feeling full and are better behaved throughout the day."
For more information about the Healthy Schools Initiative, please contact U4SS@unitedwayoc.org.