2020-21 Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness Program

We are excited to announce the 2020-2021 Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program is adding new flexibility and expanding programing to help schools gear up for a safe return in the fall by providing resources that can be offered in the classroom or through a virtual format. Program expansions include virtual options, expanded resources for mental health through social emotional learning, and food delivery support to address the evolving mode of delivery for school meals.  Applications are due September 30 and recipients will be announced in the fall.

The Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program is an innovative program that provides students, teachers and administrators with the necessary tools to create a healthier school environment. The program empowers and educates children to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and address mental health and well-being, building lifelong habits.

Under the expansion, all Michigan schools are now eligible to apply, even if they previously participated in a Building Healthy Communities program.

A key resource available for schools to apply for under the program supports efforts to address the mental health and well-being of students and staff.  Schools can apply for social emotional learning education and resources which can help empower students and staff to better understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Another key resource available to schools through the program will increase access to school meals by providing options to transport meals safely to students while addressing the evolving mode of delivery for school meals. Schools can choose options that best support mobile meal delivery and their existing school meal capacity. Examples include mobile food carts, rolling coolers, milk crate bags or even social distancing signage.

School leaders can review the full program and apply at: https://buildinghealthycommunities.arewehealthy.com/. The program is open to ALL public, charter or private nonprofit schools in Michigan serving any grade levels.

The Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness is made available to schools through a partnership including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Fitness Foundation  and United Dairy Industry of Michigan.