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Healthy Kids Healthy Schools 

Celebrating health and wellness in Dane County schools

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This year, we put a twist on Healthy Kids Healthy Schools—Bright Spots—recognizing big and small ways schools have found to encourage their communities to be active, healthy, and well despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Bright Spots Playbook celebrates the creativity and resilience of forty-seven schools from eight school districts in Dane County, Wisconsin. Five of the 2020-21 Gold Award winners received $1,000 to fund innovative initiatives focused on the needs of their students, staff, and families.

We hope that the practices and strategies presented here spark ideas and provide a blueprint for schools seeking to center health and wellness in their work in 2021 and beyond.

Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award 2020-2021

Healthy Kids Healthy Schools 

We aim to make Dane County schools the healthiest in the state. By partnering with school staff and families, we’re working to make each building a healthy place for children to learn.

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Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award

In 2019, Healthy Kids and a team of school partners launched our first, annual Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award. We aim to celebrate the great strides Dane County schools are taking in making their students and staff healthy and well.

Whether this involves helping children walk safely to school, encouraging a bite of a tomato from a school garden, or hosting birthday dance parties, we want to reward great work.

Thirty-two schools applied this year and received a Gold, Silver or Bronze award!

Stay tuned for more information about our Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Summit in the fall of 2020!

Check out the Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award Resource Page

See the 2019 Award Winners!

Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Learning Collaborative

Funded through a grant from the American Cancer Society, teams from Dane County schools, come together to learn about best practices, receive support on establishing and sustaining Wellness Committees, and share stories of real-world strategies for increased student and staff health and wellness.

After completing the Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award Assessment, schools receive an Action Plan to guide their work moving forward.

Here are some examples of great work being done in Dane County schools to create healthier kids!

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Breakfast After the Bell

Check out this video to see how Sugar Creek Elementary in Verona ensured every child starts the day off with breakfast and meaningful time with their peers and teacher. 


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Many schools have changed their policies around birthday treats as an equitable and healthy approach to honoring the birthday child. Here are some resources and examples from area schools.

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Many schools are creating SPARC Hallways for students to move their bodies and exercise the mind/body connection. Teachers comment that these spaces are great for: energy focus before testing, indoor recess option, and individual time for meditation. 

Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award 2020-2021

Healthy Kids Healthy Schools: Bright Spots  & $1K 4 Wellness Learning Fund

Launched in 2019, Healthy Kids Healthy Schools is an annual recognition program that celebrates the work that K-12 schools in Dane County are doing to promote health and wellbeing in their communities.

The 2020-21 school year has been full of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, Dane County schools have continued to find innovative ways to encourage their communities to be active, healthy, and well. Healthy Kids Collaborative is calling their successes “Bright Spots" and recognizing local schools with Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Awards. Additionally, up to 5 schools will be awarded $1,000 in wellness learning funding to build upon their Bright Spots or address an unmet need.

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This year, it’s even easier than ever for schools to apply for Healthy Kids Healthy Schools. School representatives simply complete a brief online application. Even if schools have done just one small thing or have the seed of an idea planned, they are encouraged to apply. No formal reports will be required of funding recipients; they will simply be requested to share how the project went and a picture or two by June 2021. 

ALL schools that complete an application will have their efforts recognized via a Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Award AND be considered for funding ($5,000 total available; up to $1,000/school) to use on a school health project or wellness activity during semester two of the 2020-21 school year.

Criteria for "$1K 4 Wellness" funding will be based on a 5 point system:

  • Project builds upon semester 1 Bright Spot or addresses a continuing need as identified by the school (1 pt)

  • Project design uses a best practice or innovative approach (1 pt)

  • Project connects to health equity (1 pt)

  • School demonstrates need as measured by school free/reduced lunch percentage (2 pts)


Apply here! Application deadline: 2/12/2021

HKHS 2021
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