Building Healthy Communities Program

We pay a high price for childhood obesity in our state. It affects children's health and school performance.

So we founded Building Healthy Communities in 2009 to fight childhood obesity and lead children to a healthier future. It's grown into a collaboration among organizations committed to improving the health of children and improving childhood obesity. The following organizations are participating in the program:

Building Healthy Communities works to create healthy, supportive school environments through healthy eating and physical activity.

The program:

  • Educates students through classroom lessons
  • Creates an environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice
  • Encourages students to practice lessons learned in the classroom
  • Provides opportunities for physical activity
  • Improves access to healthy food and beverages
Watch this video from Governor Snyder to learn more about how Building Healthy Communities is helping Michigan kids get healthier.

Step Up for School Wellness Program

The Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program is a partnership that includes the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Team Nutrition, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Action for Healthy Kids. The program is designed for schools with any grade level combination, K-12, and to be flexible so the needs of schools can be met and a foundation established for future healthy school environment improvements.

Read more about our engagement with elementary, middle and high schools in the 2015-2016 program description (PDF).

Elementary school program

Today, the elementary program has evolved into a partnership that includes the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Center for School Health at Wayne State University, Michigan Fitness Foundation and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. To date, the elementary school program has reached 178 schools and more than 72,000 students.

Read more about our engagement with elementary schools in the 2015-2016 program description (PDF).

We're no longer accepting applications for the 2015-2016 program.

Middle school program

The middle school program is a partnership that includes the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Michigan. The partnership implements Project Healthy Schools, a program that was created in 2004. To date, Project Healthy Schools operates in 50 schools and has reached more than 32,400 students. 

Take a look at how we work with middle schools in the 2015-2016 program description (PDF).

Breakfast in the classroom

We’ve partnered with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan to get more students eating breakfast at school. Studies show students who eat breakfast have higher test scores and behave better in class. In 2013 and 2014, we awarded grants to 107 schools and helped more than 53,000 students start the day with a healthy meal.

Schools selected for this program picked how they wanted to serve breakfast to their students. The options included a grab-and-go meal or delivery to the classroom, breakfast after first period and vending machines. The grants ranged from $900 to $9,000. They helped pay for equipment and community awareness for the programs.

We're no longer accepting applications for this grant program.

Here's a list of the schools (PDF) that have participated in Building Healthy Communities since 2009.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School students playing HOPSports.

A Building Healthy Communities school spotlight

The recess cart full of playground equipment allows Gaudior Academy in Inkster to have an "Active Recess". The students, kindergarten through eighth grade, enjoy the fun physical activity the cart provides.

This resource is lead and used by students. Members of the Student Leadership team created a schedule to coordinate being responsible for bringing the cart out, overseeing it, and returning it into the building.

"Every piece of equipment is used every recess, by everyone, and it is great to see everyone playing. We have children playing 4-square and using the long jump ropes. They even had me jumping!"

— Rosemarie Gonzales, principal, Gaudior Academy

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