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New report calls for federal action to close achievement gap by addressing school health

American children are struggling academically and could become the first generation to live shorter and less healthy lives than their parents. At the same time, our nation faces a growing achievement gap that research increasingly connects to health disparities. Health in Mind: Improving Education Through Wellness, a new report from W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Trust for America’s Health, details practical and immediate policy changes at the federal level that can address this dual challenge and create a healthy future for all children.

HSC recognizes the need to create conditions that transform school culture to promote learning, from nutritious food and time for physical activity to child development training for teachers. The report examines the research connecting health disparities with educational outcomes, provides analysis of current policies and presents case studies of innovative on-the-ground practices across the nation that integrate health and wellness in school cultures and boost student achievement.

“We know that health and education are inextricably linked; with that knowledge, we must shift how we approach both wellness and the school day,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “The ‘Health in Mind’ report points us forward. Our communities truly can develop children who are healthy, smart and strong. Doing so will take creativity and commitment from leaders at all levels. I am confident we can rise to that challenge.”

For more information or to view the full report, please visit www.healthinmind.org.

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