Highlights from 2015-16 Healthy Behaviors Initiative in Five San Joaquin and Stanislaus Afterschool Programs

The Center for Collaborative Solutions successfully implemented the Healthy Behaviors Initiative (HBI) at five afterschool programs in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties during the 2015-16 school year with a $90,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation. 

Five Healthy Behaviors Learning Centers were created that now model healthy behaviors and can help other afterschool sites do the same.  The sites (and their afterschool programs) are:

• Franklin Elementary (Modesto City Schools District)
• Eisenhut Elementary (Stanislaus Union School District)
• CF Brown Elementary Club (Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus County)
• BGC McKinley School (Boys and Girls Club of Tracy)
• Cleveland Elementary (Stockton Unified School District)

These new Learning Centers changed their policies, practices and staff behaviors to improve student, family and staff health by increasing healthy eating, physical activity and food security.

They committed to healthy choices and behaviors as an important part of their afterschool environments.  Staff became healthy role models, and students were empowered to make healthy choices, and lead physical activity and healthy eating activities.

Student surveys (from the beginning and end of the school year) showed reductions in unhealthy beverage and food consumption, and increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.  There was a 38 percent decrease in student consumption of three or more sodas per day and a 48 percent decrease in three or more other sugary beverages per day.  Sugary beverages are a significant contributor to obesity.

Student surveys also showed a 55 percent decrease in the number of students who ate three or more daily servings of sweets.

Students increased both fruit and vegetable consumption, both important parts of a healthy diet!

Changes at these sites also increased physical activity among students.  The goal was at least 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (activity where kids breathe hard) for all students.  Student surveys showed a 63 percent increase in the number of students achieving 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. 
MVPA also increased outside of program time with an increase of 46 percent in the number of students engaged in 30-60 minutes per day and a decrease of 17 percent not engaged in any MVPA.

All of the programs became more active community partners as a result of HBI, both to bring in resources to their programs and to better support improving their school and community healthy environments.  All of them already had partnerships with their local food banks.  Other partnerships were wide-ranging—from the US Tennis Association, Save Mart, First Tee Golf, Kaiser Permanente, Modesto Junior College, and Home Depot to Healthy Start.