Missouri Foundation for Health Supports St. Louis Public Schools in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Missouri Foundation for Health Supports St. Louis Public Schools in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Healthy Schools Healthy Communities Initiative Enters Second Year Supporting Wellness in SLPS Schools

ST. LOUIS (September 28, 2015) – The Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) initiative has begun its second year of a five year commitment of $1.6 million through Missouri Foundation for Health, in partnership with BJC School Outreach and Youth Development (BJC SOYD), St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, and St. Louis Public School (SLPS) District. The initiative seeks to address childhood obesity and promote wellness through a two-pronged approach: facilitating health assessments and corresponding action plans both in school settings, and in the surrounding communities. In the city of St. Louis, BJC SOYD serves as the project lead for community wellness, while SLPS leads work in school settings by convening School Health Advisory Councils, composed of school district personnel, parents, neighborhood residents, business owners, social service agencies and government entities, to assess and address gaps in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity in eleven SLPS schools for children in grades K-8.  The city of St. Louis is one of twelve HSHC collaborations supported by Missouri Foundation for Health to address childhood obesity statewide.

“We are so grateful to continue this work in partnership with Missouri Foundation for Health and BJC School Outreach and Youth Development,” said Leanne White, HSHC project director for St. Louis Public Schools. “We are building upon successful programs established in the past year, including sponsored family fitness nights, intergenerational cooking lessons, walking clubs for students to safely walk to and from schools, community gardens, and other programs that support healthy eating habits and active lifestyles among the District’s students and families.”

The School Health Advisory Councils will meet over the next two months to create customized action plans for each of the eleven schools.  In addition to providing education around key health issues and reducing the number of children who are overweight and obese, the initiative also seeks to support positive academic outcomes for the participating schools.

“Both the SLPS District and the SLPS Foundation have identified Health and Wellness as a key priority for student success.   According to the CDC and other sources, there is a clear link between a student’s ability to perform academically, and whether they are receiving needed nutrition and getting enough physical activity.” said Jane Donahue, President of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. “Research tells us that school health programs can have positive outcomes on academic performance. Through the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities program, we are making sure that each School Wellness Action Plan is customized to that school’s specific challenges and opportunities.”

For more information and to be a part of Healthy Schools Healthy Communities, contact:

Leanne White, Project Director – St. Louis Public Schools
Margaret.White@slps.org
314-345-4403

Jane Donahue, President – St. Louis Public Schools Foundation
jdonahue@slpsfoundation.org
314-331-6175

###

About Healthy Schools Healthy Communities
Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) empowers communities to build a healthier future for children and families across Missouri. An initiative of Missouri Foundation for Health, HSHC brings together schools, community organizations, businesses, parents, and residents to identify and push for changes that increase access to healthy food and physical activity where our kids live, learn and play.

About St. Louis Public Schools Foundation
Since 1998, the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation has existed to mobilize the community’s generosity and to support the amazing educators and students within the Saint Louis Public Schools. Over the years, we’ve provided schools with more than $13 million in resources. The St. Louis Public Schools Foundation is the District’s strategy partner with the unique mission of dedicating 100% of its funds and efforts to District strategy. The Foundation works closely with the Saint Louis Public Schools Superintendent, District leadership, and schools to ensure that the community’s resources support District priorities.
To learn more, please visit www.slpsfoundation.org

About Missouri Foundation for Health
Missouri Foundation for Health is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.
To learn more please visit www.mffh.org.

Start typing and press Enter to search