health happens when healthy choices are within reach
Did you know where you live affects how healthy you are? Is your neighborhood safe? Is it easy to avoid things that are bad for you? Does it have good schools, nutritious food, and space to get up, get out, and be active? Lots of families live in neighborhoods without those necessities. Those families are at risk for sicker, shorter lives. BUT we have the power to CHANGE that.
health happens when school lunch is nutritious and delicious
School isn’t always easy. But eating right in the cafeteria should be. Does the food on your tray have what it takes to fuel a growing mind and body? (Mystery meat and junk drinks, anyone?) We need to find ways to get clean drinking water and more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our schools. We know that kids eat healthy food when it’s available and looks tasty – when schools make the healthy choice the easy choice. Chew on that!
health happens where we have safe places to walk and play
The way your neighborhood is built – streets, houses, schools,
sidewalks, streetlights, businesses, freeways, and parks – can be
good, or bad, for your health. Is it easy to get around, or
is it scary just to cross the street?
Do you live next to a park, or a freeway? Which is closer,
the grocery store or the liquor store? We have the power to
plan, build, and maintain our communities so that health happens
in every neighborhood.
health happens when it’s easy to put healthy food on the table
Everybody knows it’s important to eat right. But, even through California leads the nation in agricultural production and exports, we have “food deserts” – neighborhoods without grocery stores, farmers markets or any place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, families depend on convenience stores that are loaded with junk drinks, chips, and other unhealthy, processed foods, and the health of our state suffers because of it. Health happens in neighborhoods with access to nutritious, affordable food.
All kids need support – at home, in school, and in their
neighborhoods. Kids who get the help they need are more
likely to stay in school and do well in life. Did you know
that people who graduate from high school are healthier and live
longer than people who don’t?
Without support, kids can fall through the cracks. After
school programs, free school lunches, mentoring, tutoring, and
other services help prevent that.
Did you know your zip code can predict how long and how well you live? Learn why in an interactive journey in “Health Happens Here.”
Discover what Californians are doing to build health in their communities in this new multi-media exhibition about all the places and all the ways health happens in California. Play video games to learn about health and donate your points to your choice of ten charities.
Purchasing vegetables and fruit can be expensive for families
on a budget, and difficult for those living in communities
without access to them. Ubuntu Green, a Sacramento-based
community organization, teaches families — including those
with limited yard space — how to grow their own.
Youth UpRising – East Oakland, CA
Youth UpRising — a state-of-the-art youth center in East
Oakland — is keeping youth on track through their Evening
Reporting Center (ERC). Youth who would otherwise be detained
in juvenile hall are allowed to live at home but must report
every day after school to Youth UpRising to complete homework,
use the computer lab, or to access an array of other services
and opportunities, including a health clinic. When the program
is over each night, the youth are driven home to ensure
compliance with their court-mandated curfews.
Ah Pah Village – Del Norte, CA
Native Americans face many challenges — poverty, substance
abuse, and type-2 diabetes, among others. But Willard Carlson
Jr., a member of the Yurok Tribe in Del Norte County, is
helping to build self esteem among youth by teaching them about
the Yurok’s traditional cultural practices.
100-Day Challenge – Kern, CA
The residents of South Kern County live in an area with many
health challenges — including substandard housing and
pesticide drift. Today, these families are taking charge of
their health by challenging themselves to quit soda and junk
food, and increase physical activity. They believe that by
doing this together they can make significant health
improvements in their community.
Castlemont High School – East Oakland, CA
Castlemont High School is taking school discipline into the
21st Century through their Restorative Justice for Youth (RJOY)
program. RJOY is an alternative to out-of-school suspensions
and expulsions that requires youth to take responsibility for
their offense and make amends while keeping them in school and
in the community. This program has resulted in significantly
lower suspension rates at Castlemont.
Cesar Chavez Library – East Salinas, CA
Did you know a library can help improve health? The residents
of Salinas know so and have turned their library into a
gathering place for the community where they can engage in a
variety of activities, including workshops, poetry slams,
homework assistance and so much more!
Khmer Girls In Action – Long Beach, CA
Khmer Girls in Action, a group of Southeast Asian women in Long
Beach, work to bring equity and social justice to their
community through advocacy and by challenging the status quo.
Operation Peacemaker Fellowship – Richmond, CA
Operation Peacemaker Fellowship in Richmond is working to tear
down the divisive walls between Richmond’s diverse communities
in order to build unity among residents and improve community
Sobrante Park Time-Banking Initiative – East Oakland, CA
Time banking means that when you volunteer for your community
that time is put into a savings account for you so that when
you need help with childcare, tutoring or another need you can
withdraw that time in exchange for help. Sobrante Park’s
Time-Banking Initiative in East Oakland helps bring individuals
together to give and receive help while creating a stronger
sense of community.
Sweat Equity – Coachella, CA
Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, a nonprofit, affordable
housing developer, helps families in need build their own homes
through a collective process where their ’sweat equity’ serves
Bess Maxwell Elementary School – Del Norte, CA
Parents, doctors and others from the community joined together
to bring health to Bess Maxwell Elementary School’s cafeteria.
Alarmed by their county’s 44.5% overweight and obese statistic
among Del Norte’s children and youth, they worked together to
bring a salad bar to their school.