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School Partnerships

5th grade girl drinks milk with her health school lunch 

The Obesity Prevention School Grant Program ended June of 2015. While shortened to just two years, grantee districts had many accomplishments. Four districts successfully updated their local school wellness policy through their school board. Three districts met the criteria to apply for USDA HealthierUS School Challenge recognition. Another successfully updated their district health curricula. Several districts increased the number of salad bars available to students and increased their sites offering school breakfast programs. Each of the districts maintained active school wellness teams and successfully increased opportunities for before- and after-school physical activity programs.

A few of the successes of OPCP obesity prevention partner districts are highlighted on the Play Every Day Success in Alaska Schools page as well as the blog posts below:

While the OPCP is no longer funding grantees, we are maintaining partnerships with Alaskan school districts and are committed to providing technical assistance to schools as they work to improve the nutrition and physical activity opportunities for their students.   Resources can be found on the Alaska School Wellness Policies webpage. We also provide evaluation and support and technical assistance to the Department of Education and Early Development Child Nutrition Program in their CDC cooperative agreement for school health: Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement Through Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Management of Chronic Conditions in Schools (DP18-1801)​

The following archived information highlights key aspects of a school-based obesity prevention program and can provide guidance to schools that are interested in preventing childhood obesity. 

___________________School Grant Archive____________________

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The Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program (OPCP) is putting boots on the ground to help local school districts reduce rates of childhood obesity.  Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, eight Alaska school district grantees are working to improve their school nutrition and physical activity environments by increasing opportunities for before, during and after school physical activity and improving the nutritional content of foods available for consumption at schools. 

Each competitively selected district will hire a .75 FTE coordinator who will have primary responsibility for developing programs such as farm-to-school, serving Alaska fish, and increasing salad bars in the schools. In addition, grantee districts will implement high-quality PE and recess programming aimed at helping students meet the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity. Outcomes of this grant program will be evaluated through collecting and analyzing student body mass index.

K-12 Obesity Prevention Grantee School Districts

Map of Alaska shows eight communities with public school districts that have been awarded Obesity Prevention Grants in 2013: Nome, North Slope Borough, Alaska Gateway, Mat-Su Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, Petersburg, Sitka, and Ketchikan Gateway Borough. 

•    Alaska Gateway School District
•    Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District
•    Kodiak Island Borough School District
•    Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
•    Nome Public Schools
•    North Slope Borough School District
•    Petersburg City School District
•    Sitka School District


Why work with schools?

Next to families, the school has more influence on the lives of young people than any other social institution. Schools can improve the health and education of young people and prepare them to be healthy and productive adults. While it is understood that schools alone cannot be expected to address all student health issues, schools are in a unique position to reduce the burden of childhood obesity.

This school based grant program provides a focal point in which families, community organizations, businesses, health care workers and youth themselves can focus on the well-being of young people. This combination of better student health education, more physical activity, good nutrition and community engagement will reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in Alaska.

What do school grantees do?

  1. They get kids more active and eating better

  2. They organize support for healthy students at the school district level

  3. They promote healthy living in their communities.

    • Increase public awareness and knowledge about events, activities, and successes to the public. Grantees utilize posters, flyers, PSA’s, and other communications materials provided by the OPCP to positively communicate healthy active lifestyles within their regions.
  4. They evaluate their work to ensure they are meeting performance measures

How can I find out more?

More information on the grant program can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP) or by emailing Lauren Kelsey, MPH


Publication, resources and more information about the PAN can be found at: www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/chronic/obesity/
and www.playeveryday.alaska.gov

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Image from CDC, taken by Amanda Mills.
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