Creating Healthy Schools & Communities, funded by the NYS Department of Health, is a five year grant effort utilizing a coordinated, multi-sector approach to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease in high-need communities and school districts.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County is the local awardee serving the city school district of Niagara Falls and city of Lackawanna. Each superintendent has signed a memorandum of understanding and support. The school component will focus on easing the burden of schools trying to meet state and federal nutrition, physical activity, and local wellness policy requirements. The overall goal is to create a culture of wellness in each school district. This could include but is not limited to:
School gardening and farm to school initiatives
Healthy vending, fundraising, celebrations
Increase access to healthy, affordable foods
Nutrition education, healthy advertising
Safe routes to school efforts, bike safety, family activities
Professional development in nutrition and physical activity
Tabling at school events with nutrition and physical activity information
There is a stipend for each district annually to implement any improvements in addition to the work done by CCE.
The community component is structured to amplify the school efforts for example, healthy food retail will focus on stores or mobile market options near schools to improve the environment most available to youth and their families.
Jennifer Tynan Resource Educator-Creating Healthy Schools and Communities, 1522 Main Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14305