Elementary Schools

The Health Empowered School

Funded by

What youth-empowered,
healthy learning looks like

Students at Health Empowered schools typically improve their aerobic fitness on the annual FitnessGram® assessment.

Learn more about our impact ⟶

There’s a culture shift at work in a Health Empowered school. From “Eat Drink Move” banners in the hallways to video step-routines in classrooms, students visiting the lunchtime Taste Truck or Student Health Advocates serving up homegrown fruits and vegetables. Wherever you look, young minds and bodies are being energized by healthy foods and activity breaks throughout the day.

Often the changes start small – ensuring fresh drinking water is always within reach, or that recess is available to every student, every day.

Over time, other nutrition and fitness objectives are layered in, like eye-catching displays of fresh fruits or salads at the front of the cafeteria line. One school might start an after-school walking club while another switches to physical activity-based fundraisers, instead of selling candy or magazines.

Each Health Empowered school looks different, depending on which healthy eating and exercise goals they’re pursuing, but all are backed by coaching and support that lasts throughout the relationship.

How It Happens

Dedicated support

Look to your Health Educator for resources and ongoing technical support. This friendly personal coach will connect your School Health Team to staff trainings and easy-to-integrate activities, games and taste tests. They can even point you to outside resources, like grant opportunities.

Dynamic professional development

Active learning not only works better – it’s fun, too. Your School Health Team will determine which nutrition and physical activity goals make sense for your unique school culture and climate. In our highly interactive process, you’ll develop the action plan that works for your students, staff and school community.

Healthy student engagement

Kids learn best by doing – through hands-on practice and active play. “Healthy Habits” day planners bring bite-sized messages about healthy foods and habits into the lives of K – 5 students and their families. Weekly “Healthy Hangout” videos mirror the concepts in the planners, and teachers can choose from a range of activities and writing prompts to extend the learning.

Another way to boost student buy-in and confidence? HealthMPowered schools choose 4th and 5th grade Student Health Advocates to lead the charge. These youth leaders help with taste tests, read morning announcements and develop special projects – placing healthy messages in high-traffic areas, for instance – with the help of an adult mentor.

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the USDA’s full non-discrimination statement, click here.

“I was really surprised by the Academic Accelerators. The students absolutely loved them. I put my kids into groups, and they took turns doing the long jump in the hallway! Their partners measured the distance in units all based on the GPS standards we’re teaching.”

Teacher Focus Group

Put active learning on the agenda.

Become a Health Empowered School.

Power Up for 30

Join the movement!

Power Up for 30 helps kickoff increased healthy activity throughout a child’s day. In this behavior-changing training, educators experience and identify creative ways to add at least 30 minutes of physical activity into the day for all students – before, during or after school.

Each school implements Power Up for 30 differently, but all see real benefits. Why? Research suggests that physical activity positively influences brain function – and can translate into improved academic achievement, better classroom behavior, and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.

Discover more

Power Up for 30 is a collaborative effort between HealthMPowers and Georgia Shape, the governor’s statewide initiative to fight childhood obesity and other children’s health issues in Georgia.

Activate your school.

Start the Power Up for 30 transformation.

Breakfast After the Bell

Fuel active learning and
fight food insecurity.

Support Breakfast After the Bell in your school.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most kids miss it. They travel long distances, arrive at school late, or don’t want to skip social time or be singled out for early breakfast in the cafeteria. Even those who could eat at home often don’t, rising too early to feel hungry.

For others, missing breakfast is part of a larger pattern of hunger and food insecurity. For these kids it’s a deficit that threatens their health and well-being.

1 in 6

are struggling with hunger in America.

3 in 4

say they see kids regularly coming to school hungry

74% of low-
income students

say that school meals help them pay attention and behave in class.

80% of

see their hungry students lose the ability to concentrate in class.

With help from our partners at No Kid Hungry, we’re working to change all that. Many Health Empowered schools are rolling out Grab and Go carts, for instance, that let kids pick-up breakfast sandwiches on their way to class with their friends. Others are promoting universal breakfast events – like Morning Smoothie Smiles, twice a week – that invite all students to share fresh fruit-and-veggie shakes together.

No Kid Hungry Georgia is a public-private coalition working to end childhood hunger. The partnership between Share Our Strength and HealthMPowers is ending childhood hunger in Georgia by ensuring students access the school breakfast program. Through Share Our Strength, we can also assist you in finding grants or other funding to support new breakfast initiatives at your school.

“Our behavioral problems went down and our [breakfast] participation went up when we started Grab and Go breakfast.”

Candace Goeber,
Nutrition Manager, Babb Middle School

Breakfast is steady fuel for a child’s brain and body.

School days look better with Breakfast After the Bell.