Our programs transform the spaces where children learn, inspiring them to take charge of their health
Our school and community-based programming aims to give children and youth access to nutritious food, regular physical activity, and knowledge of healthy lifestyle habits. We collaborate with school and community leaders to provide support and transform the way we think about children’s nutrition and physical activity, from early care and education through high school to afterschool. Our goal is to promote healthy, sustainable habits throughout a child’s lifespan.
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We accomplish this through:
Dedicated onsite support for children’s health and well-being.
Professional development for educators and community leaders.
Child and family engagement.
Teaching best practices for nutrition and physical activity.
Directly engaging youth as leaders and co-curators in program development.
Leveraging community voice for culturally relevant change.
We’re constantly keeping a pulse on the latest guidelines for nutrition and physical activity from the CDC and other health-centric organizations. Our programming reflects the most up-to-date, proven methods for instilling healthy lifestyle habits in children.
Below is a sampling of the programs we offer in and out of the classroom. For a comprehensive list of our program services and trainings, click here.
Empowering Healthy Choices in Schools, Homes, and Communities:
We partner with educators and community administrators to transform their spaces into healthy, active environments for children to flourish. We begin by assessing the nutritional and physical activity practices of the site, and then implement improvements tailored to the developmental needs of that age group. This involves incorporating age-appropriate play and exercise, providing healthy snacks, and teaching healthy lifestyle skills to children and families. We support healthy shifts in the community’s culture, from afterschool “Walking Clubs” to the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables at school lunch. Our social marketing campaign, Be A Health Hero: Eat, Drink, Move, is reinforced through posters, banners, and digital messaging that communicates a common call to action. We also offer hands-on nutrition education through gardening and cooking classes. Our coaching and support team allows for long-term, sustainable change in the communities we serve. Our program is one of the most comprehensive of its kind, touching over 200 early care and education sites, K-12 schools, after-school programs, and retail outlets and food pantries across Georgia.
Level: Early Care and Education, Grades K-12, & Out-of-School
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.
Girls Empowering Movement (GEM) Initiative:
Girls are at the center of this one-of-a-kind effort to increase physical activity and the fitness levels of Georgia’s middle school girls. Currently, only 51% of girls have healthy aerobic capacity in 5th grade. By 12th grade, that number drops to 31%. This program provides girls with access to regular physical activity while empowering them to become change- agents themselves. The program, designed by girls for girls, debuted in the summer of 2021 with a goal to motivate 200,000 girls to get moving. Now thousands of girls across Georgia are engaging with programming, resources, and a peer network to get active, build leadership skills, and develop the social and emotional tools needed to live happy, healthy lives.
Level: Grades 5-8
“Some girls really don’t feel like they’re worth what they really are. GEM (Girls Empowering Movement), as the name [suggests], will make girls understand that they’re worth as much as a diamond.”
– Ayshiah, Age 13, GEM Leadership Team
Power Up for 30:
This is a collaborative effort between HealthMPowers and Georgia Shape, the governor’s statewide initiative to increase physical activity opportunities to incorporate an additional 30 minutes of physical activity—outside of PE, every day for every child and youth. Power Up for 30 gives educators, schools, and sites resources, strategies, and best practices for creating an active environment that can increase attendance, focus, and overall health for all of Georgia’s children and youth. This program emerged from research demonstrating a strong relationship between physical activity and brain function, translating into more academic achievement, better classroom behavior, and reduced depression and anxiety.
Level: Grades K-12 & Out- of-School
“Adding Power Up for 30 to our Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) program really changed things for us. We saw a 75% decline in discipline referrals from one year to the next.”
– Dr. Kimberly Anderson, Principal of Excel Academy
Every year, Georgia schools are required to measure students’ fitness in grades 1-12, using the Cooper Institute’s FitnessGram assessment. HealthMPowers offers training, resources, and technical assistance for conducting the assessment, using the results to inform strategies and programming for student’s overall health and fitness and engaging youth as leaders on their journey to lifelong fitness.
Level: Grades 1-12
Student Health Advocate (SHA) Program:
Youth are highly motivated by fellow peers who inspire them to implement healthy changes in their lives. Our Student Health Advocate Program trains students to become leaders in community health and fitness. These students host events, direct messaging, and help challenge their peers to lead healthier lifestyles. We believe students have the power to shift the culture of their communities, and our Student Health Advocate Program champions these voices in order to effect positive change. This peer-to-peer work increases students’ knowledge, motivates them to adopt healthier habits, and strengthens their social, psychological, and emotional health.
Level: Grades K-12
“We’ve seen real results in how our kids make healthy food choices, and their interest in physical activity. HealthMPowers has created opportunities for our kids to think critically about healthy decisions, obstacles to these decisions, and the importance of investing in their bodies in ways that promote health.”
– Adrianne Penner, Senior Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
Farm to School:
We have a long history of engagement in farm-to-school programming. Most recently, the organization was awarded grant funding support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase the number of learning environments in Georgia that implement sustainable farm-to-school activities.
Level: Early Care and Education, Grades K-12, & Out-of-School
Georgia Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment:
The Georgia Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment is an interactive online assessment tool designed to support early care providers with environmental policy and practice improvements in healthy eating and physical activity among children, staff, and families. This tool offers wellness resources specifically aligned with each assessment indicator to ensure providers make effective, sustainable changes within their early care settings. Currently, HealthMPowers has piloted the assessment with nearly 200 providers statewide, including 40 through our partnership with Georgia Organics and Quality Care for Children.
Level: Early Care and Education