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Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Kid Healthy (OneOC)



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Kid Healthy (OneOC)

Kid Healthy's mission is to build healthy communities, improve health, wellness and reduce the incidence of obesity by engaging school children and families from vulnerable communities in programs that measurably improve nutrition and fitness levels.

Our goal is to provide parents with the tools, proficiencies, and leadership skills necessary to engage children in active play and to increase their healthy behaviors for long term impact in overall health. Our programs reach parents and families where they live, the school environment, a safe, familiar place for families.

Kid Healthy, is a fiscally sponsored project of OneOC, a 501(C)(3) organization. We work in collaboration with agencies dedicated to combating the childhood obesity health crisis, particularly among disadvantaged and low-income populations, including: The Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Health Care Agency, Community Action Partnership OC, H.E.A.L Anaheim, YMCA, Orange County United Way, School Districts, Principals, teachers and parents. We currently offer programs that engage parents and families in health education, parent leadership development, provide increased physical activity for their families, and parent -led active recess 3 days per week in elementary schools.

Our focus is on engaging parents, students, and the greater community in programs that teach, encourage parents to model healthy behavior, and provide increased opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles:

1. Padres en Acción: engages parents as active volunteers and advocates in their children's lives, providing a direct impact in the attitudes and behaviors of their families. We begin the program by training 30 parents at each school in a series of 6 classes covering topics in nutrition, physical activity, parent engagement, and advocacy. Following this initial training, this group of parents begin as leaders on the playground, 3-days per week providing consistent, long term physical activity opportunities for students. In addition, parents conduct monthly parent education meetings and special events centered on building a healthy school community. PEA is currently implemented in 46 elementary schools in 9 School Districts, with planned growth to 52 schools by fiscal year-end 2018, reaching 31,000 students and 1200 parent leaders.

2. Cooking up Change®, is a national program that engages high school students, from low income schools, in creating healthy, tasty school lunch menus that can actually be served in the school cafeteria. Now in our 8th year, the program has blossomed into an opportunity for students to learn from professional chef mentors, refine their culinary and career skills; as well as, develop recipes under the tight constraints faced by school food service daily. In addition, workshops in USDA, farm to table and public speaking are offered. Students compete locally for a spot to compete in the national finals in Washington, DC. Student recipes are shared with food service directors throughout OC, offering options to traditional menus. Currently implemented in 10 schools in 6 school districts, the OC program has produced the national winner six times. A testament to the programs impact.

Founded in 2003, as an early collaboration of agencies dedicated to combating the increasing obesity epidemic, our programs have evolved from our initial effort: Steps to Healthy Living. This was a successful interactive nutrition and physical activity toolkit & media campaign that reached 95,000 5th and 6th grade students in a classroom based 3- week campaign. It ran successfully for 10 years under the sponsorship of ABC7, Network for a Healthy California, and several healthcare agencies. It's successful integration into the school environment led to our current, more comprehensive programs: Padres en Accin and Cooking up Change, which now reach more than 55,000 students and families providing consistent health education, increased physical activity opportunities, and leadership skills to make policy and lifestyle changes for participants and their families.

Our services include: parent led active recess, health education in nutrition, physical activity and parent leadership. Our parent classes provide health topics that are pertinent to each school community based on need, including but not limited to: physical activity, playground management, nutrition, reduction of sugar sweetened beverages, meal planning, grocery store tours, budgeting, access to health benefits, financial management, introduction to mental health, parent-child cooking and more. Kid Healthy programs have been a key component in linking schools and community organizations. Program outcomes have established it as a valuable tool to school principals in affecting behavioral changes for students and parents in their communities.

Our contact info:

Kid Healthy (OneOC)

Linda Franks, Executive Director:, (949) 874-7701
Kelsey Kinsey, Program Manager: (949) 395-2349

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