Health Education & Promotion

School Wellness

Kent County Coordinated School Health Collaborative (KCCSHC)

In 2000, a small but passionate group of Kent County agencies joined forces to begin the work of minimizing the childhood obesity epidemic that was beginning to take shape Michigan. The mission: To reach students in school settings with health messages and make changes in the school environment to support students’ health. Through local dollars and grants, this group created mini grants for schools to apply for and use toward making changes in their individual school building. Policies were written, health fairs thrown and smoothies were made. Many students received valuable education on healthy eating and physical activity that allowed them to become better students and grow into healthy adults.

Fast forward 18 years. Many of the same agencies are still meeting and creating a coordinated approach to supporting local schools in their school wellness endeavors. Agencies include Kent County Health Department, Michigan State University Extension, Grand Rapids Public Schools Food and Nutrition Department, Kent County Intermediate School District, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Campfire of West Michigan and other individuals interested in the health and food security of Kent County students.

One of the lasting impacts of this group that continues is a staff development workshop offered each summer. Healthier Classrooms Healthier Kids is organized by the KCCSHC and is offered free of charge to participants. The target audience is school staff – teachers, principals, nurses, afterschool providers, etc. Through the various partners, speakers are brought in, resources are shared and each participant takes away an electronic toolkit of resources related to school wellness. The objective is for participants to take strategies back to their own school that they can implement and make a difference in students’ health. Making the connection between healthy students and academics is key. Participants are left empowered to make the changes they have control over, such as offering a variety of healthy snacks in place of all sugary treats at a class parties, or teaching students appropriate movement they can do at transition times. The changes may be small but over time can make a lasting difference!

For more information on the Kent County Coordinated School Health Collaborative, please contact Dawn Davies, KCCSHC Chair, at (616) 632-7296 or by email at

Healthy Classrooms, Healthy Kids FREE Workshop

2019 Dates Coming Soon!

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK)

action for healthy kidsAction for Healthy Kids (AFHK) mission is to mobilize school professionals, families and communities to take actions that lead to healthy eating, physical activity and healthier schools where kids thrive. Whether you are part of school staff, a parent or a community member, you can help make a difference by implementing the Game On school wellness framework, applying for a School Grants for Healthy Kids or interacting on, a new initiative designed to provide parents and parent-led school groups with the support they need to become effective change agents in school and student health. No matter how you choose to participate, AFHK can help you support CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child blueprint for integrating health-promoting practices into the school environment.

The Michigan Action for Healthy Kids (MAFHK)state team collaborates with schools, districts and state and local partners to advance nutrition and physical activity initiatives in schools statewide. Through our collaborative efforts, MAFHK support the mission of Action for Healthy Kids: to ensure every kid is healthy, active and ready to learn. MAFHK provides the support and resources that schools need to engage school professionals, families and communities in actions that lead to healthy eating, physical activity and healthier schools where kids thrive.

To get involved or find out about upcoming events in your area visit Michigan AFHK team website.

Local School Wellness Policy

michigan department of ed For more information on Michigan Department of Education School Nutrition Programs, click here.

A local school wellness policy is a written document of official policies that guide a local educational agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

The Local School Wellness Policy requirement was established by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, and further strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It requires each local LEA participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program to develop a local school wellness policy that promotes the health of students and addresses the growing problem of childhood obesity. The responsibility for developing a local school wellness policy is placed at the local level so the unique needs of each school under the jurisdiction of the LEA can be addressed.

For Local Wellness Policy Resources, click here

MDHHS Child and Adolescent Health Center Program

mdhhsThe MDHHS Child and Adolescent Health Center Program services are aimed at achieving the best possible physical, intellectual, and emotional status of adolescents by providing services that are high quality, accessible, and acceptable to youth

Team Nutrition

team nutrition logoTeam Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.

michigan health tools

The Michigan Healthy Communities Collaborative, comprised of partner organizations throughout Michigan, has developed online assessments and websites to help promote and support better health for Michigan citizens – in communities, at work, at school and in places of worship. Click here to visit the Michigan Health Tools website.

HSAT stands for Healthy School Action Tools - Comprehensive tools designed to help Michigan schools and districts create a culture that supports learning by first measuring the health of school environments, and then planning and implementing improvements based on best practices.

School Wellness Award (SWA) recognizes schools that are making significant policy and environmental improvements in their environment related to healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco-free lifestyles. For more information about the School Wellness Award, click here