Healthy Start

Fifteen Schools Will Be Awarded $5,000 To Support A Healthier Environment

Well-Ahead Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Education have teamed up to support healthier schools with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Training Grant. This three-year grant will allow Well-Ahead Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Education to support school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity by providing resources, funding and professional development to schools.  Awardees will be announced soon!  

Well-Ahead Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Education are currently offering regional Smarter Lunchrooms trainings for all Louisiana school food service professionals, as well as a culinary skills training series focused on enhancing food preparation skills and knowledge of school food service professionals. To register for the upcoming trainings, visit

Did You Know?

Empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents ages 2–18 year, affecting the overall quality of their diets. Approximately half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk (CDC, 2017). 

Apply Today!

All schools (K-12) are encouraged to apply for the Team Nutrition grant by January 31, 2018. To be considered for the grant, schools must be participating in the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. To learn more about the grant guidelines, click here.  Today is the deadline to apply! Click here to download the application (Word).

Oldies but goodies

New PE Standards Spark Support from the Healthy Schools Training Krewe

Physical education (PE) is the foundation of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program and is intended to provide students with the ability and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. In April, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released the new physical education (PE) standards. These standards were developed by a group of practitioners and stakeholders with expertise in physical education and are unique to Louisiana.

With new standards in place, there is a need to support PE teachers in implementing quality physical education in schools. In August, Well-Ahead Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), the Louisiana Association of Health, Physical Activity, Recreation, and Dance (LAPHERD), and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation joined forces to coordinate trainings for PE teachers across the state. Together with the Healthy Schools Training Krewe, these partners have led trainings in nine parishes across the state. A total of 753 PE teachers have attended the interactive trainings and received guidance and resources for implementing quality physical education. These trainings can potentially positively impact approximately 213,171 students in Louisiana!

With these trainings, and the resources developed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, Louisiana is poised to further advance professional practice related to physical education.

Did You Know?

  • Professional development for physical education teachers is critical for the implementation of quality physical education.
  • Students that attend PE are approximately 2-3 times more likely to be active outside of school and almost twice as likely to continue to be active in adulthood.

Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward

Physical education is a key component of healthy schools. The Healthy Schools Training Krewe is a group of expert trainers from different organizations that have joined forces to support healthier schools. At no cost, the Krewe provides on-site professional development to those working to create healthier schools. Take action today! Request a training by emailing Emily Pineda at

Playgrounds in Louisiana Get a Splash of Color to Inspire Play

Well-Ahead Louisiana has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Health's Bureau of Family Health, the Louisiana Department of Education, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Tulane University School of Public Health to form the Pediatric Obesity Collaborative Improvement and Innovative Network (CoIIN). CoIIN works to improve nutrition and physical activity in early care settings.

This school year, CoIIN will purchase playground stencils that will create, improve and enhance outdoor play spaces at early childhood education centers, schools, and community spaces. Playground stencils are designed to create painted playgrounds.  They provide an excellent opportunity for children to get physically active and practice developmentally appropriate movement such as balance, locomotor skills, and spatial awareness. In addition, age appropriate stencils give children the opportunity to practice letter awareness, rhyming, color and number recognition, counting, patterning and measurement.  Stencils are reusable and have the potential to impact thousands of Louisiana children.  

Soon, the stencils will be available four use by early childhood education centers, schools and community spaces to.  CoIIN will provide a DIY toolkit and technical assistance to support early care staff in using the  stencils appropriately.


  • Over 76,000 children under the age 5 in Louisiana are obese - that's enough to fill 1,600 school buses!
  • Louisiana early childhood licensure regulations for childcare centers state that:
    • Children under age two shall be provided time and space for age appropriate physical activity for a minimum of 60 minutes per day.
    • Children age two and older shall be provided a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day that includes a combination of both teacher led and free play.


Help us ensure Louisiana children have the opportunity for a healthy start.  Email to be among the first to know when stencils are available.  Start gathering your stencil supplies today! Click here for a list of everything you will need.  One stencil at a time, we will move Louisiana’s health forward.