Children grow and learn better when they are born healthy and practice healthy habits throughout childhood, including proper nutrition and exercise, and have access to high quality learning opportunities. Healthy and well-nourished children are more able to develop their minds and bodies as they should, and they are far more capable of concentrating, learning and thriving throughout their school years.
In contrast, children born from unhealthy pregnancies, who don’t have access to quality health care and opportunities to learn and develop are much more likely to suffer developmental setbacks that will put them behind their peers even before they reach kindergarten. These setbacks also occur when children are raised in highly stressed home environments that do not offer adequate health care services or guidance on proper diet and exercise.
The educational consequences include falling even further behind because they miss too much school, or struggling to concentrate in class because they feel sick or hungry, are unable to see properly for lack of vision screening, or are hurting from unchecked ear infections or dental problems.
From life’s first starting line of birth, young people who are immersed in healthy environments that allow them and their parents to stay focused on meeting developmental milestones and make healthful life choices are far more likely to stay healthy and grow to their full potential.
Many health centers across the country are building partnerships with schools to expand access to quality care and address the powerful social, environmental, and economic conditions that unjustly influence health outcomes of low-income children and adolescents in their communities.
Initiatives focused on improving aspects of students’ well-being in schools—such as addressing childhood obesity, preventing bullying, and restricting schools’ use of exclusionary discipline—are gaining momentum. However, such efforts are often implemented in silos, without recognition of their…
Authored by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released annually in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education and America’s Promise Alliance, the Building a Grad Nation report examines both progress and challenges toward reaching the…
When schools are a healthy environment to learn and grow, we have a better chance of raising a generation of strong and vibrant students who are prepared to succeed in life.