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 safety.
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 as currency.
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.