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About CDC Healthy Schools

Healthy Students are Better Learners

Teacher at chalkboard instructing students in math.

Schools have direct contact with more than 95% of our nation’s young people aged 5-17 years, for about six hours per day and up to 13 critical years of their social, psychological, physical, and intellectual development. Schools play an important role in promoting the health and safety of children and adolescents by helping them to establish lifelong health patterns.

Healthy students are better learners, and academic achievement bears a lifetime of benefits for health. Schools are an ideal setting to teach and provide students with opportunities to improve their dietary and physical activity behaviors and manage their chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, food allergies, and poor oral health). When policies and practices are put in place to support healthy school environments, healthy students can grow to be healthy and successful adults.

What We Do

WSCC model

CDC Healthy Schools works with states, school systems, communities, and national partners to prevent chronic disease and promote the health and well-being of children and adolescents in schools. The Whole School Whole Community Whole Child (WSCC) model is our framework for addressing health in schools.   The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school and the importance of evidence-based policies and practices.

Partnering with key leaders from the health and education fields, CDC Healthy Schools promotes—

We do this by:

  • Funding state education agencies, providing them with technical assistance, and developing specialized tools, recommendations and resources to help in the work they do for school health.
  • Working with non-governmental organizations to complement and strengthen the work of the state grantees in our school health priority areas.
  • Providing resources and training for school administrators and staff to help ensure students are healthy and ready to learn.
  • Providing information and resources to help parents become involved in their child’s school, advocate for their child, and help shape a healthy school environment.
  • Collecting data in our surveillance systems to inform decision making and evidence based strategies.

CDC Healthy Schools is committed to the goal of creating healthier schools where students are safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. For more information on our work, see the CDC Healthy Schools: At a Glance [PDF – 901 KB].

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