Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Promoting Healthier After School Environments: Opportunities and Challenges

2009 | Download

In South Los Angeles, middle schoolers have the opportunity to demonstrate their physical activity skills, such as hip hop dance, to elementary students. Youth in Shasta County led an effort to get a community gym in the city of Anderson in order to have a place to be active outside of school hours. Youth in Central California take pictures of food and physical activity environments in their community to create postcards that they now use in their advocacy work with city councils. These are just a few examples of how after school programming can help to promote health.

Using policy and environmental change strategies to improve community health, the Healthy Eating, Active Communities program (HEAC) and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) have worked together to create healthful and safe out-of-school environments for children and youth.

This brief summarizes the current state of after school programming nationally and in California, reviews baseline evaluation data about after school practices in the HEAC program, and presents challenges and opportunities that emerged in a discussion among HEAC and CCROPP after school leads and other experts in the field.

Download the brief.

This publication was developed by California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness (CANFit), PHI's Partnership for the Public’s Health (PPH) and Samuels & Associates. It was funded by the California Endowment. 


Betty Geishirt Cantrell, Arnell Hinkle, Maria Casey, Jeni Miller, Sarah Samuels, Liz Schwarte, Krista Stiffler.

Produced through PHI's:

California Convergence Coordinating Office