Child Trends Awarded $2 Million to Improve School Health

October 23, 2017

Bethesda, Md. – Child Trends has been awarded $2 million to lead the policy analysis and policy development arm of a new initiative aimed at improving school health.

Recognizing that children’s health and educational outcomes are connected, the Together for Healthy and Successful Schools initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has the goal of advancing a more holistic approach to ensuring healthy, successful students; thriving communities; and a better future for everyone.

“Over the past decade we’ve seen incredible momentum around aspects of healthy schools – from better nutritional standards in schools to a focus on building students’ social and emotional skills,” said Deborah Temkin, Child Trends’ director of education research and co-project director under the grant. “Unfortunately, these efforts have largely been siloed, without recognition of how such issues intersect.”

The grant to Child Trends will enable the organization and its partners to systematically map the policy landscape surrounding healthy school environments, develop model policies based on research and issues identified by key stakeholders, and identify opportunities to inform policy change at the state and national levels.

The project will be co-directed by Dr. Jamie Chriqui from the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other project partners include EMT Associates, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and The Raben Group.

Over the course of the two-year grant, Child Trends will also work closely with grantees—America’s Promise Alliance and For the Sake of All, a Washington University-based initiative—leading the two other arms of Together for Healthy and Successful Schools.

Their combined effort will build understanding about (1) what factors help or hinder schools in creating healthier school environments; (2) the levers that can influence local, state, and federal policies pertaining to school health; and (3) ways to build public and political will to promote students’ overall health and well-being in schools. The initiative targets change at multiple levels, and will involve families, communities, and schools.


August Aldebot-Green, Child Trends, (240) 223-9350,


About Child Trends

Child Trends, based in Bethesda, Md., is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families. For 38 years, decision-makers have relied on our rigorous research, unbiased analyses, and clear communications to improve public policies and interventions that serve children and families. Our work is supported by foundations; federal, state and local government agencies; and nonprofit organizations.