Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Our Year in Review
Annual Impact Report 2018-2019

Letter from our CEO

Dear Friends,

I joined Healthier Generation earlier this year because of my deep appreciation for its profound impact on children’s health in all the spaces kids live, learn, and play. After meeting and working with so many of our staff, partners, and supporters over the past year, that appreciation has only grown.

I’m proud to lead an organization committed to advancing bold ideas, new solutions, and evidence-based practices all in the name of fostering the optimal learning and development of young people across the nation.

Follow me on Twitter

Meet Kathy

A New Day for Healthier Generation

Since our inception more than a decade ago, we have been guided by the same principle: every child deserves a healthy future.

While that still holds true today, the latest science tells us that “health” can't just be defined by what we put into our bodies and how much we move them, but rather how we nurture them physically, mentally, and emotionally.

This led us to broaden our scope of work so that—together with local and national partners—we could apply our expertise in capacity building and community activation to any number of pressing issues facing children today.

In FY19, we improved the future of children's health in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, social-emotional health, and sleep.

Our Vision for the Future

In order for every young person to succeed in school and in life, we must foster healthy bodies and healthy minds.

To meet this ambitious goal, we're applying Healthier Generation's unique strengths and assets to build capacity and address the rapidly evolving needs of children and their health and well-being.

This year, we put these ideas into practice by:

  • Launching a new website and the Healthier Generation Action Center, enhancing our unique ability to scale best practices, deliver innovative content, and guide users in creating healthier communities nationwide
  • Expanding our programmatic offerings to boost social-emotional health and family engagement—in addition to nutrition and physical activity—under the leadership of our new Chief Program Officer Laurie Stradley
  • Placing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of our work, as 71% of schools and 78% of out-of-school time sites enrolled in our programs serve children and youth from underserved communities
  • Convening dozens of public health thought leaders and business executives to share ideas and develop coordinated, meaningful solutions to meet the comprehensive health needs of the whole child

This page offers a unique perspective on these successes and more. I hope you will find inspiration and motivation to join our cause—and help us give more children and families the chance to build the healthier, brighter futures they deserve.

With deep gratitude,

Kathy Higgins
Chief Executive Officer

Our Impact At-a-Glance

29 Million

benefiting from healthier meals and high-quality physical activity


receiving technical assistance to create healthier environments

Out-of-School Time Sites

benefiting from improved nutrition and increased movement

3.4 Billion
Fruit, Low-fat Dairy & Water Items

served in the U.S. Happy Meals since 2013 as a result of our partnership with McDonald's

of Schools

enrolled in our programs serve children from underserved communities

Virtual Learning Opportunities

accessible at no cost for wellness leaders

This year, we advanced children's health to improve their learning and development

Eating Healthy & Moving More

From our team of national advisors to our best-in-class digital resources, we guide schools and out-of-school sites to improve nutrition and increase physical activity opportunities to ensure children's minds and bodies are healthy and ready to learn.

Through our collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we work with state health and education agencies, school districts, and out-of-school time sites to promote a holistic approach to children's health, rooted in strong policy and practices.

This year, we recognized a record 461 schools—81% of which serve high-need populations—from 26 states and the District of Columbia as “America's Healthiest Schools.” Strong wellness policies, healthy celebrations, active classrooms, and a focus on staff well-being are the norm at America's Healthiest Schools—as are increased attendance, better behavior, and improved academic achievement.

A School-wide Celebration for one of America's Healthiest Schools

We knew [improving kids' health] wasn't going to happen only through diet or only through exercise, but a combination of those factors. That's why Healthier Generation inspired us to get involved.
– Lou Mardesich, Principal
Harry Bridges Span School, CA

Boosting Social-Emotional Health & Learning

Schools function best when students and teachers are happy and healthy. Using a one-of-a kind digital platform and an evidence-based approach, our programs help schools and districts across all 50 states and the District of Columbia adopt policies and practices that result in happier, healthier students.

We integrate social-emotional skills into core wellness areas—as evidenced by the #ReimagineRecess campaign to promote empathy and quality relationships at recess—and through the distribution of social-emotional learning resources to wellness leaders nationwide.

Building on more than a decade of impact in over 44,500 schools, we launched the Resilience in School Environments (RISE) Initiative with Kaiser Permanente to expand our reach and empower schools to create safe and supportive learning environments that improve the social-emotional health of students and staff.

Editorial Spotlight

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: The Makings of a Prosperous Future
To empower a healthier generation of kids, we need to meet all aspects of their health needs. Learn more in this op-ed by Chelsea Clinton and Kathy Higgins.

Blog Spotlight

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Schools are Healthy Schools
Check out our 4 tips to promote a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.

Empowering Parents & Families

Outside of school, families and afterschool leaders play a key role in reinforcing healthy habits learned during the day.

This year, Healthier Generation announced a partnership with Kohl's to launch Kohl's Healthy at Home, a new family health and wellness initiative that inspires and empowers families to prioritize a healthy lifestyle at home and wherever their children live, learn, and play.

Built on our experience guiding staff and families in out-of-school time programs to support healthy habits after the school bell rings, our #SummerSwap campaign returned as the first of many #KohlsHealthyatHome resources to provide simple ways families can boost nutrition, get moving, and foster strong social-emotional health.

Kohl's & Healthier Generation Surprise Schools with Healthy at Home Kits

Bring Good Health Home!

Visit the Kohl's Healthy at Home resource hub for tips and resources to boost health in your home.

Improving Sleep & Performance

Quality sleep is critical for children's health and academic achievement.

Leveraging our trusted voice among families and communities, we're on a mission to help more children get the quality sleep they need to thrive in school and in life. That's why we partnered with Sleep Number to help improve the overall well-being of one million youth through better sleep by 2025.

We launched the Sleep Smarter. Perform Better. digital resource center to raise awareness about the importance of improving child sleep. The resource center provides tips and activities for schools, out-of-school time programs, and parents to help youth achieve better sleep—thereby improving health, well-being, academic achievement, and physical performance.

Fostering #SmarterSleep with Sleep Number

We are focused on youth because we believe better sleep can and will change the world. By working with Healthier Generation, we are strengthening, broadening, and accelerating our impact on the well-being of youth.
– Melissa Barra, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales, Services and Strategy Officer
Sleep Number

Increasing Healthier Choices & Offerings

When it comes to improving children's health, everyone has a role to play. Since our inception, we've activated transformational change among industry leaders — propelling them to develop innovative strategies that shape supply, improve access, and create demand for healthier options.

This year we celebrated key milestones in these efforts to improve access to healthier foods and beverages.

The Beverage Calories Initiative, a joint effort between Healthier Generation and the beverage industry to reduce consumption of beverage calories by 20 percent by 2025, showed the strongest signs of progress to date at both the national and local levels. Progress on our 2013 voluntary agreement with McDonald's to increase customers' access to healthier options by 2020 showed that a majority of McDonald's markets have met all five commitments ahead of schedule.

Bringing Together Convenience Store Leaders

Healthier Generation annually co-facilitates the Corner Store Forum, which brings leaders together to network and share best practices around marketing and selling healthier food and beverage products.

These results show how combining the scale and influence of corporations with the expertise of national public health organizations can be a strategy for transformational change.
– Kathy Higgins
Healthier Generation CEO

Philanthropic Partners

Healthier Generation's philanthropic partners provide much-needed resources to expand our reach, increase the effectiveness of our youth-serving initiatives and programs, as well as build nationwide awareness for children's health. Joining our founding organizations, these are a few of Healthier Generation's strongest supporters who are helping advance our mission across the country.

$1,000,000 and Over

  • American Heart Association
  • Clinton Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund
  • Kohl’s
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

$500,000 - $999,999

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Sanford Harmony
  • Target
  • The JPB Foundation

$100,000 - $499,999

  • Aetna Foundation
  • Health Foundation of South Florida
  • Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Sleep Number

$25,000 - $99,999

  • Brita Products Company
  • City of Miami Gardens
  • Fullerton Foundation
  • Louisiana Department of Education
  • Mary Black Foundation
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • Ocean Spray
  • Starkist
  • YMCA of South Florida

Join the Movement

Go to the Action Center

Find out how you can help create healthier environments for children in your community.



Make a tax-deductible donation to give more kids a healthy future.


Collaborate with Us

Join our efforts to create systemic change for children's health.