The Health Empowered School
What youth-empowered, healthy learning looks like
Youth at Health Empowered schools show improvements in a range of behaviors – eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and being more physically active.
Learn more about our impact ⟶
You can see it and feel it. Step into a Health Empowered school, and there’s a different energy in the air. Activity breaks in the classrooms, students taking silly selfies at the lunchtime photobooth, or Student Health Advocates mixing up samples of strawberry and lemon-mint water for their peers are just a few of the activities you’ll see.
Every day is a pep rally for health as students encourage each other to “eat smart, drink right and move more,” or join new fitness clubs before or after school.
Amazingly, as the number of safe outlets and opportunities for healthy energy release, discipline referrals go down. Absenteeism falls. Student engagement goes up – academically and socially. And teens get healthier.
Each school advances its own plan for boosting healthy eating and physical activity – but does so within a framework of coaching and support that lasts throughout the relationship.
How It Happens
Dedicated onsite support
Look to your Health Educator for resources and ongoing technical support, including grant opportunities. This friendly personal coach will connect your School Health Team to staff training, easy-to-integrate activities, games, taste tests, and other resources.
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
Teens are highly motivated by their peers, and Health Empowered schools choose Student Health Advocates to lead the charge. These youth leaders help host live events and direct social messaging for the school. From the morning announcements to Cooking Matters classes, Turkey Trot fun runs to student-produced PSA videos, student voice and choice is seen and heard school-wide.
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.
“The Student Health Advocate experience was a real confidence builder. It helped students engage with teachers to a greater extent and allowed the students to feel in control of something.”
Teacher Focus Group
Let the culture change begin!
Become a Health Empowered School.
Power Up for 30
Join the movement!
Power Up for 30 is now available for secondary schools
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.
“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
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-
say that school meals help them pay attention and behave in class.
see their hungry students lose the ability to concentrate in class.
With help from our partners at Share Our Strength and 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.”
Nutrition Manager, Babb Middle School