All youth in Oregon are healthy and successful learners who contribute positively to their communities.
Healthy Kids Learn Better Partnership (HKLB) works at the state and local level to foster partnerships between health and education stakeholders in order to reduce physical, social and emotional barriers to learning. It consists of three distinct partners:
The HKLB State Program, supported and administered by the Oregon Public Health Division, provides technical assistance to education and public health partners on school health issues including the Coordinated School Health Approach.
The HKLB Coalition which engages in policy advocacy to support the health and wellbeing of kids, youth, and schools.
The three partners of Healthy Kids Learn Better use the Coordinated School Health (CSH) Approach created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health. This framework has been used in the United States and abroad for over two decades to help schools to create partnerships to address campus health needs and improve learning outcomes. The CSH approach is based on school heath best practices identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Investment in School Health Capacity:
Payoffs in Health, Achievement, and Stronger Communities
Health and education are deeply connected. The need for infrastructure--such as a school health coordinator and school health advisory councils—is often cited by researchers as a critical component to successful school health efforts. This detailed report examines the associations between Oregon student and school-level health and education data. The association between school health infrastructure and high school graduation is explored and utilized as the starting point for a Return- On-Investment analysis. The findings suggest that an investment to support school health infrastructure could provide longstanding social and economic benefits.
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Together, the partners of Healthy Kids Learn Better seek to provide young people with environments, skills, and information to avoid risk behaviors that are often established during youth. These behaviors include:
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy dietary behaviors
- Inadequate physical activity
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Sexual behaviors that can result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancies
- Behaviors that may result in intentional injuries (violence and suicide) and unintentional injuries (motor vehicle crashes)
These behaviors place young people at significantly increased risk for serious health problems, both now and in the future.
Coordinated school health has been in place at many schools across the country with great results. When existing programs and resources within a school community are coordinated to address a given health behavior or health problem. Schools have benefited from:
- Improved student performance and test scores
- Less absenteeism
- Reduced drop out rates
- Improved rates of physical activity
- Less fighting
- Decreased risky behaviors
Taking a coordinated approach to school health in your school or district can:
- Reduce duplication
- Save money
- Improve staff morale and attendance
- Support teacher teamwork
The HKLB State Program
The HKLB State Program is currently:
- Expanding the use of the Coordinated School Health Model to include addressing mental health.
- Partnering with the Oregon Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Program to provide technical assistance to county public health departments that are working with education partners to prevent, identify and manage chronic diseases that impact the school community.
- Providing technical assistance to schools that are engaging in health assessment and planning.
- Conducting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Profile Survey in Oregon. This survey provides information about school health programs and policies. The data is used to make programmatic and policy decisions.
- Highlighting the connection between health and learning at every opportunity!
The State Healthy Kids Learn Better Program is funded in part through generous support from: