Action for Healthy Kids, Inc.

Contact Information

600 W Van Buren St
Chicago, IL 60607 - 3758
(800) 416-5136
Social Innovation Fund 2014

Executive Summary

Title: Action for Healthy Kids

Issue-based Social Innovation Fund Applicant: Healthy Futures

Scope: National

Grant Amount and Period: $1,000,000 each year for five years

Matching Sources: Cash Reserves and Private-Sector funds

A) Overview: Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is an existing grantmaking organization applying as an issue-based Social Innovation Fund in the "Healthy Futures" priority area. AFHK is driven by its transformative Every Kid Healthy Campaign, which has an ambitious vision to create a coordinated and collaborative movement to make all 130,000+ schools throughout the U.S. and their 55 million students healthy by the year 2030.

In the proposed Every Kid Healthy Program, AFHK will fund school district subgrantees in diverse communities across America to engage parent and community volunteers to prevent and reduce childhood obesity and support improved child health. AFHK's unique programming works simultaneously from the bottom-up with parents and other community stakeholders as grassroots volunteers and top-down with districts and schools that are interested in engaging parents constructively in their wellness activities. For the first time in the field of school health, urban, suburban and rural districts will validate the evidence of this scalable school health intervention's causal connection to improved student health and academic outcomes, including healthy weight as measured by BMI.

B) Project Summary: Over AFHK's 12 years of working directly with school communities and volunteers, it has tested the most effective methods for leveraging the school environment to improve student nutrition and levels of physical activity. In order to achieve this overarching goal and measure and evaluate our long-term efforts against its vision for children and schools, AFHK has developed a strategic plan outlined in its theory of change, the Every Kid Healthy Equation ( School Action Plans + Programs & Practices + School-Family-Community Partnerships=Every Kid Healthy. In an environment of strained resources and competing priorities at both district and building levels, schools and parents struggle to implement health and wellness strategies that are critical to not only the health, but the academic performance, of students. This equation, detailed below, is a proven master plan for coordinated nationwide action that is perfectly aligned with the First Lady's Let's Move initiative.

AFHK will support 10 under-resourced school districts over a five-year period (urban, suburban and rural districts, as well as large districts of at least 75 schools and small-to-medium districts with at least 10 schools) with $100,000 - $250,000 annual grants to implement the Every Kid Healthy Program. Subgrantees will be selected based on their capacity and readiness to use best practices to develop and implement policy, systems, environmental and practice change around school nutrition, physical education and physical activity. District subgrantees will be expected to show causality between their grant-funded pre-identified intervention activities and the following:

-- % schools that apply for and achieve a healthy school certification such as USDA's HealthierUS Schools Challenge.

-- % change in nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of students; and

-- % change in students who achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight and are otherwise healthy, as measured through BMI and other child health metrics.

AFHK's expertise is developing relationships at the district and schools levels, assessing strengths and potential obstacles and customizing solutions that deliver results. Awarded grantees, with a combined estimated reach of 500-550 schools, 225,000 students and roughly 350,000 family members, will be ushered through planning, implementation and evaluation phases by AFHK's national field staff and appropriate State Teams that will provide ongoing resources and technical assistance. Evaluation will be tracked through pre- and post-surveys, AFHK's online school database (Wellness Policy Tracker and Implementation Tool), annual BMI assessments of a representative sample of students, among other tools.

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