What is America’s Healthiest Schools?
America’s Healthiest Schools is Healthier Generation’s prestigious annual recognition program that honors schools for implementing best practices to support the physical, mental, and social-emotional health needs of the learning community.
Awardees must meet criteria in the Thriving Schools Integrated Assessment, an evidence-informed tool that helps schools identify strengths and opportunities for improving policies and practices to advance health and learning with an integrated approach.
What topics are recognized in America’s Healthiest Schools?
Increasing Family & Community EngagementPresented by: Kohl’s
Recognizes school teams that gather input from the school community, engage parents and caregivers in meaningful ways to support student successes, and connect families to resources related to social drivers of health
Improving Nutrition & Food AccessRecognizes school teams that implement best practices to maximize school meal participation, meaningfully collaborate with teachers on nutrition education, and partner with community organizations to increase food access for students
Implementing Local School Wellness PolicyRecognizes school teams that implement the district’s wellness policy with the support of a diverse set of stakeholders, set measurable goals, and reflect on progress, successes, and challenges
Enriching Health EducationRecognizes school teams that provide health education to all students, using an evidence-based curriculum and prioritize opportunities for students to practice skills to maintain and improve their health
Bolstering Physical Education & ActivityRecognizes school teams that provide physical education using an evidence-based curriculum and integrate physical activity opportunities throughout the school day with all students, including students with special health needs
Strengthening Social-Emotional Health & LearningPresented by: Harmony SEL at National University and Kaiser Permanente
Recognizes school teams that implement an evidenced-based social-emotional learning curriculum, positively motivate students, and implement opportunities for students to regulate their emotions and learn from their mistakes
Cultivating Staff Well-BeingPresented by: Harmony SEL at National University and Kaiser Permanente
Recognizes school teams that actively promote relationship building with staff, foster a culture of gratitude, and provide resources to support breaks for all staff during the instructional day
Promoting Tobacco-Free SchoolsRecognizes school teams that address tobacco use in youth through prevention education and cessation intervention and actively engages youth in promoting a tobacco-free campus
Supporting School Health ServicesRecognizes school teams that address chronic health conditions, routinely conduct health screenings, and provide a pathway for students with health concerns to receive additional support from the school or community-based providers
Schools that achieve recognition in all nine topic areas are designated All-Star Awardees.
Why apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?
Schools function best when students and educators are happy and healthy. Earning an America’s Healthiest Schools recognition indicates that your school is a leader in school health. Previous awardees have received a multitude of benefits, including:
- Inclusion in our annual list of America’s Healthiest Schools, seen by millions nationwide each year through local and national media, such as USA Today, HuffPost, Woman's Day, and more.
- A digital award package including web graphics, social media messages, newsletter blurbs, and email templates to help schools share the news.
What is the application timeline?
School teams may apply in the Healthier Generation Action Center.
- Application Opens: January 9, 2024
- Application Closes: April 16, 2024
- Award Notification: Summer 2024
- Award Celebration: Fall 2024
All applications are due no later than April 16, 2024. Applications must be complete in order to be submitted for consideration.
Who can apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?
Any K-12 public or private school in the United States is eligible to apply for recognition as one of America’s Healthiest Schools—including elementary, middle, and high schools. Any school, regardless of earlier awards achieved, can apply for a 2024 award.
The program will recognize schools on an annual basis. Schools, regardless of their previous award status, are encouraged to reapply to be recognized each year as a demonstration of their commitment over time to meaningful and sustainable change.
View past award winners:
What does it mean to be one of America's Healthiest Schools?
“I am proud to be able to say that I am here, and I'm a part of this amazing school, and that we are [one of] America's Healthiest Schools.”
– Tonia Mabry, Guidance Counselor
Langley Park-mccormick Elementary School, Prince George's County Public Schools
How can I apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?
- To verify award criteria is “Fully in Place,” your school team will provide information about implementation methods, improvements made this school year, and procedures and communication sent to students and families.
- Use the Award Guide to prepare the required evidence for the topic(s) you will include in your application.
Help and Support
The Healthier Generation team is here every step of the way to support your success.