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As we approach the end of another transformative year, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey we've undertaken together in our mission to support whole child health.
The past year was nothing short of extraordinary, filled with both triumphs and trials that have tested our collective resilience. The country’s health landscape continued to evolve, presenting new challenges to persisting health concerns. Yet, in the face of adversity, together we demonstrated unwavering determination and adaptability.
America’s Healthiest Schools is Healthier Generation’s signature recognition program honoring schools that implement best practices to support student and staff health. Awardees are recognized in up to nine topic areas based on criteria in the Thriving Schools Integrated Assessment. In 2023, 781 schools across 36 states achieved recognition, the largest awardee cohort in program history. With support from Kaiser Permanente, Kohl’s, and Harmony Academy at National University, schools excelled in topic areas like Strengthening Social-Emotional Health & Learning, Cultivating Staff Well-Being, and Increasing Family & Community Engagement.
Highlights from this year’s award season include:
Since the award program’s debut, 2,828 schools have been recognized in 47 states and the District of Columbia. As the pool of awardees grows, Healthier Generation continues to prioritize health equity as a driving force for identifying and celebrating America’s Healthiest Schools that serve BIPOC youth and students from under-resourced communities.
Students are eating healthier, learning social skills, and are more physically active. We are one of America’s Healthiest Schools and an All-Star Awardee because Pinellas County School District created clear policies and procedures and prioritized professional learning to promote a healthy school environment.
In October, Healthier Generation convened educators, district administrators, industry experts, and supporters in Washington, D.C. to recognize more than 250 schools and districts for advancing whole child health at the America’s Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit.
Event co-chairs Dr. Chelsea Clinton and Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, opened the event by recognizing fourteen All-Star schools for excelling in all nine America’s Healthiest Schools topic areas. Kohl’s, sponsor of the Increasing Family & Community Engagement topic area, was honored as our 2023 Corporate Hero.
The Leaders Summit recognizes schools and educators for their powerful role as agents of impact and change in their communities. The program is generously supported by Kaiser Permanente, Kohl’s, and Harmony Academy at National University.
Kohl’s Healthy at Home, Healthier Generation’s hub of inspiring tips, activities, and resources for families, meets parents and caregivers where they are and guides them with simple, inclusive ways to make healthy choices easier.
Schools play a vital role in connecting a vast network of families with our robust collection of culturally responsive content in a variety of media formats, channels, languages, and health topics. Since 2019, Healthier Generation has worked collaboratively with nearly 30,000 schools to support over eight million families across the country.
Healthier Generation and Kohl’s are deepening their investment in data-driven programming, content, communications, and relationships that continue to inspire caregivers and communities with new ways to support children’s health and learning.
‘Alliance’ is our first name for a reason. Partnerships are foundational to Healthier Generation’s reach and impact. In 2023, we continued to grow our collaborative efforts with educators, caregivers, supporters, and health champions across the country.
To our founders, donors, and philanthropic supporters, including Del Monte Foods, Harmony Academy at National University, Kaiser Permanente, Kohl’s, MacKenzie Scott, and Novo Nordisk: Your unwavering belief in our mission enables all that we accomplish.
To parents and caregivers, educators, school personnel, and community health champions: Thank you for your tireless dedication, for inspiring us, for leading the way, and for inviting us to work alongside you to support children and families each and every day.
And to our staff, who work tirelessly to support the physical, mental, and social-emotional health of children at home, at school, and in their communities: Thank you for your passion and commitment to ensuring that every mind, every body, every young person is healthy and ready to succeed.
Since Healthier Generation’s founding, collaborative relationships with our funders have been vital to our impact. We’re grateful to these organizations for their support, past and present, including new contributors like Colgate-Palmolive Company that are expanding Healthier Generation's expertise and reach.