Health and Wellness Initiative
The be well Health and Wellness Initiative Recognizes Healthy School Champions
DENVER, Colo. (April 11,2018) – Four schools that participate in the be well Youth Program, part of the be well Health and Wellness Initiative of The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, have been named a 2018 Healthy School Champion. This year’s honorees include Denver School of the Arts ($300 Promising School Award), Ashley Elementary School ($500 Excellence Award), New Legacy Charter School ($500 Excellence Award), and North Middle School ($1,000 Bronze Award).
“It’s a great honor to have them receive this recognition,” said Emily Shore, director of Healthy Schools for The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities. Shore pointed out that this is the second consecutive year that four be well Youth Program schools have earned the Healthy School Champion designation.
be well is a grassroots movement of communities coming together to take charge of their health and wellness. be well Youth engages kids, schools and communities in creating and promoting fun activities, events and advocacy projects to encourage healthy living among children and their families. (click here to read the more)
Youth Block Captains/Youth Council - Registrations Now Being Accepted!
Youth in the be well Block Captain Program promote healthy living in the be well Zone and abroad among family, friends, peers and neighbors through outreach with schools, churches, sports teams and other youth-oriented community organizations. All youth block captains complete a healthy living training, equipping them with new attitudes, skills, and knowledge as it relates to health and wellness and the civic engagement process.
The be well Youth Block Captain training builds the capacity of youth to serve on the be well Youth Council. It also allows them to utilize information learned in the implementation of community projects and events. be well Youth Block Captains design, promote, and implement 1-3 activities, projects, or events each year to encourage healthy changes in the be well Zone among their peers, as well as, inform or recommend health policies (or best-practices) that could help to make healthy living easier for students at schools throughout the be well Zone.
Diverse youth ranging in age from 8-17 years serve as Youth Block Captains on the be well Youth council with representation from be well schools and from the be well Zone. To date, 94 youth have completed the be well Youth Block Captain training since the start of the be well Youth program in 2012. Currently, there are 23 youth block captains actively serving on the be well Youth Council. 2016 healthy living projects for the Council included videos on both cooking/nutrition and anti-bullying. 2017 projects for the Council included a movie premiere night to showcase the 2016 videos and a carnival/family fun block party.
When asked what be well youth are most excited about, one youth responded, “Our events…how much planning goes into them and then seeing how big the event ends up being.”
The be well Youth program is now in its 3rd year of working with schools on wellness
efforts and has been involved with 9 schools in Denver and 5 schools in Aurora since 2012.
In collaboration with two school districts, Denver and Aurora, be well assists schools with
coordinating a School Wellness Team, including recruitment, meeting organization, and
structure. Three schools have received funding from the newly-instated be well Healthy
Schools Mini-Grant Program including William "Bill" Roberts School (DPS), McAuliffe
International School (DPS), and Montview Elementary School (APS). Each wellness team
completes an assessment/inventory to learn the current “health status” of their school
and is then charged with developing and executing a roadmap to improve healthy living
at their school.
In both districts be well provides resources, support, and technical assistance to the School Wellness Teams to create healthier school environments and aid in the development of the roadmap. be well also provides funds to schools via the healthy schools mini-grant program, and leverages funds for schools to carry out their activities described in their roadmaps.
Activities and/or projects that have been implemented by be well School Health and Wellness Teams in the past include:
For more information on school wellness or the healthy schools mini grant program, please contact Emily Shore at
Youth Block Captain Training
The be well Youth Block Captain training, is a fun, interactive 6-week healthy living training
that equips children with new attitudes, skills and knowledge as it relates to health and
wellness and builds their capacity to serve on the be well Youth Council. In the training,
be well Youth explore community organizing and advocacy strategies that can be used as
a tool to build their will to lead healthier lives and promote healthy living opportunities
among their peers. Specifically, the training helps youth to eat healthy, move more,
maintain a healthy heart and be comfortable in their own skin. The training also helps
youth establish ways to share what they learned with their peers. All youth who complete
the training are considered be well Youth Block Captain Connectors and are recognized at
the Annual be well Awards and Community Celebration.
The training uses a combination of innovative and evidence-based strategies intended to motivate and engage youth as leaders in reducing the spread of childhood obesity and other preventable illnesses that impact children in the be well Zone and abroad.
Each year, new kids are nominated to participate in the be well Youth Block Captain training by their school principal, teacher, or trusted community member. Youth who complete the be well Youth Block Captain training and want to further pursue the be well Youth Program have the option of applying to join the be well Youth Council. • The be well Youth Block Captain training is held once a year. The last training was held November-December 2015. 23 youth block captains completed the 2015 training and 10 were selected to join the Youth Council in 2016. Youth Block Captain training 2017 starts on November 2, 2017. If you would like to nominate a local youth to participate in the be well Youth Block Captain training program, contact Felicia Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
be well Youth is a program that engages kids, schools, and communities in creating and promoting fun activities, events, and programs to encourage healthy living among youth and their families in the be well Zone. be well Youth has 2 major initiatives: The be well Youth Block Captain program and be well School Health and Wellness Teams in Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools within the be well Zone.
To date, more than 1,700 people have been impacted by the be well Youth Program. These numbers do not include efforts facilitated by be well School Health and Wellness Teams in partnership with Denver and Aurora Public Schools.