New York, NY – The Alliance for a Healthier Generation – a joint venture of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association combating childhood obesity in the United States – and The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced today an expansion of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program in Miami Dade County. The Healthy Schools Program was created in 2006 in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help schools develop and implement policies and practices that promote healthy eating and increased physical activity for students and staff.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s four-year, $2 million grant to the Alliance will enable the Healthy Schools Program to be implemented district wide in Miami-Dade Public Schools. This represents the first district wide implementation of the Healthy Schools Program in an urban setting. The Alliance will offer onsite support and resources to every school in the district; build the capacity of the Miami Dade Public Schools to maintain the Healthy Schools Program after the four year grant period; evaluate the program’s impact on affecting tangible changes in the school environment (such as increased time for health education or improved quality of school meals); and disseminate lessons learned and best practices for creating healthier urban school environments locally and nationally.
The program will be launched this September in 97 schools throughout the district. Additional schools will be added during the next two school years. Six Miami-Dade Public Schools participated in the Healthy Schools Program during the 2006-07 school year and have taken great strides toward creating healthier school environments. In August, President Clinton and the Alliance recognized two area schools, Miami Springs Middle School and South Hialeah Elementary School for their measurable progress. The Alliance will support school- and district-level efforts toThe Alliance will support school- and district-level efforts to:
Encourage the alignment of policies and contracts to Alliance School Beverage & Snack Food Guidelines for foods sold outside the school meals program.
• Facilitate the implementation of more quality physical education and health education.
• Increase the number of healthy food and beverage options offered as a part of the school meals program.
• Improve opportunities for students to be physically active before, during and after the school day.
“This new grant from The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will help us expand our efforts to make the environment in which children learn a healthier and more active one,” said President Clinton, who co-leads the Alliance with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and American Heart Association president Dr. Dan Jones. “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to impact the lives of more children in Miami.”
“Helping students make choices that will keep them strong and healthy can be as important as a science or math lesson,” said Dr. Dan Jones, President of the AHA. “I am pleased that this grant will allow the Alliance to help schools across the Miami-Dade district to create healthier environments for their students and staff.”
“It is an honor for Miami-Dade Public Schools to be selected as the first large school district in the country to implement the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program,” said Dr. Rudolph F. Crew, Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools. “This initiative not only provides schools with local, state, and national resources to promote healthier school environments, but also showcases schools’ successes through the National Recognition Awards Program. The program aligns with our comprehensive School Health and Wellness policy and promotes the district goal of enhancing student wellness. My sincere appreciation is extended to the William J. Clinton Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for supporting Miami-Dade Public Schools in ensuring a healthier future for our students.”
“We believe it’s important to unite school, family, community, policy and the children themselves in order to effect lasting behavioral change,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and chairwoman of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We are dedicated to supporting new ways to drive sustainable, systemic change that will reach far beyond one urban school district. The expansion of the Healthy Schools Program in Miami-Dade represents a very important milestone in the prevention of childhood obesity and instilling life-long, healthy habits in children across the United States.”
The Miami Dade County School District is the fourth largest district in the nation and serves 362,000 students in its 351 schools. The majority of students enrolled in Miami-Dade Public Schools are living in poverty. Sixty percent of Miami-Dade students are Hispanic, 28 percent are African American, ten percent are Caucasian, and two percent are from other or mixed ethnic backgrounds.
About The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Healthy Schools Program
The William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association partnered in May of 2005 to create a new generation of healthy Americans by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The Alliance is working to stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010, and empowering kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance is focusing its work in the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices and communities.
The Alliance launched its Healthy Schools Program in February of 2006 to support schools across the country in their development of healthier school environments. The program takes a comprehensive approach by helping schools improve access to healthier foods; increase both physical education and physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day; enhance nutrition education; and establish staff wellness programs. The Healthy Schools Program recognizes schools that succeed in meeting a set of comprehensive standards that address these areas at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the major funder of the Healthy Schools Program. Many other foundations and individuals also support the work of the Healthy Schools Program, including the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, MSST Foundation, Howard & Michele Kessler, Anne Brennan, and the Missouri Health Foundation. For more information on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, please visit:www.HealthierGeneration.org.
About The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) was established in 1999 by the Dell family to improve outcomes for underserved children in a measurable way. Based in Austin, Texas, the Foundation funds programs that foster and improve education, health, and safety for children around the world. With an endowment of more than $1 billion, the Foundation has committed more than $350 million to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is separate and distinct from the Dell Foundation. In first reference, please use ‘The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.’ For second references, ‘the Dell family foundation’ is correct.