HWCF focuses on children in grades pre K–5, emphasizing the importance of physical activity and a balanced diet. We have funded evidence-based research and provide curriculum for teachers and school health professionals to encourage energy balance in schools.
HWCF has become a leader in taking action, driving the discussion and creating innovative teaching and motivational tools that are transforming young lives and reaching half of the US Pre-K - 5 student population. Our commitment to families and schools allows us to have the strongest impact on the lives of children in an effort to help reduce obesity.
Free, Open source, Standards-based Curriculum:
Our flagship program, Energy Balance 101, provides lesson plans, curriculum, toolkits, resources and opportunities for grants and prizes. Our open source content is available worldwide, free of charge and without copyright restrictions. Our curriculum is aligned with USDA programs and national education standards including: NAEYC, SNAP, WIC, EFNEP, HealthierUS Schools Challenge and the HHS Head Start program.
Find all of our programs for teachers, students and families at TogetherCounts.com our award winning community resources portal developed in partnership with Discovery Education.
Click on each case study below to learn more about our initiatives:
Grants and Prizes
HWCF has designed its programs and prizing to incentivise long term change.
Our Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes is a partnership with Playworld Systems and Good Sports and awards winning schools with new playgrounds, cash grants and sports equipment to outfit and update their physical education programs. One of the two grand prize winners is a designated Title I school, ensuring the funds and equipment are delivered to schools in need.
The Smart from the Start Awards encourage Pre-K and Head Start programs to compete for a $20,000 cash grant to make healthy changes in their early education programs. Ten second prize winners can earn a $2,500 grant. Free curriculum accompanies the program and in just two years has been adopted by dozens of Head Start programs throughout the US, demonstrating the need among at-risk children. Learn more.
In support of USDA's HealthierUS Schools Challenge, we have celebrated participants with an incentive to earn cash prizes and training. The Energy Balance 101 curriculum complements the HealthierUS School Challenge’s mission to create healthier learning environments,designed to help children make decisions that lead toward active, healthy lifestyles. To see how our program supports and aligns with the HUSSC, click here.
HWCF has funded the National PTA’s Healthy Lifestyles Grants program since 2012 and each year provides 25 PTA’s with a $2,000 grant to make healthy changes at school—driven by the parent volunteers who can make it happen. Learn more.
EB4Kids with Play
Leveraging the success of our programs in Kansas City and Iowa, we refined our curriculum, approach and sponsored research, Energy Balance4Kids based on a partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Playworks, and UC Berkeley (Atkins Center for Weight and Health).This research evaluated the impact of a comprehensive school-based energy balance program.
We expanded EB4Kids with Play to include seven schools—four intervention schools and three control schools—in the Oakland/Berkeley area of California to reach a total of 1,612 students. To date, in the intervention schools, we have collected baseline nutrition and physical activity data, hosted family and community events, modified food service offerings, and enabled site visits by HWCF team members.
The EB4Kids with Play video case study won a prize from the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment.
Evidenced Based Research
Evidence-based research was the foundation of a two-year strategic relationship between HWCF and the Healthy Schools Partnership (HSP), testing the theory that one-on-one coaching would be most effective in promoting energy balance. The partnership comprised three national organizations: the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and PE4life. These nationally-renowned organizations deployed registered dietitians and implemented PE4Life approaches, combining nutrition and physical education to teach energy balance.