Funding Opportunity: Creating Healthy Schools - Local Implementation

Funding Overview

Description: Allocate a majority of the funding for local efforts. Funding can go to a district; group of districts; group of charter schools; BOCES or local community partners acting on behalf of districts to support strategy implementation in specified areas.

Funding time frame: Up to two years of funding. Grant amount will be scaled according to level of need, student enrollment and scope of proposed work and be based on availability of funds. View the Healthy Schools Funding Overview (pdf) for more information.

View the most recent archived webinar: 
Creating Healthy Schools: Informational Webinar 
(Recorded May 11, 2016) 
Download presentation slides (pdf)

Grant Deadline: Not accepting applications. This work is in progress.

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Charter and Innovation schools not participating in the NSLP may qualify if they have an existing, sustainable approach to providing meals that meet Healthy Hunger Free Kids nutrition standards. This must include providing free and reduced price meals to eligible students.
  • Groups of charters can include:
    • A coalition or network of schools – for example, identified by having a shared Charter Management Organization
    • A group of two or more schools with a formal relationship (MOU, or otherwise) based on a common cause
  • Must have existing comprehensive school health and wellness plan. (See description below.) 
  • Must have evidence of high need at a district level. High need is defined as 50-100 percent FRL or a majority minority student population. For BOCES or other potential small groups of districts applying for funding, the average FRL and majority minority rates for all of the districts will be calculated to determine eligibility.
  • Districts with 40-50 percent FRL may be considered high-need and eligible for grant if able to demonstrate district- or community-wide need with additional data. For example, data demonstrating majority of enrolled students are at 185 percent of Federal Poverty Level or majority minority enrollment.
  • Districts below 40 percent FRL are not eligible for full implementation grants but may be eligible for matching dollars depending on level of need and district size.

Comprehensive School Health and Wellness plans are expected to:

  • Address each of the following:
    • Comprehensive physical activity
    • Supportive nutrition environments and healthy food and beverages
    • Cultures and climates in schools are supportive of student and staff health and wellness
    • Health education
    • Student health services
    • Student behavioral health needs
  • Have been developed with, at minimum, the input of students, families, teachers and other relevant stakeholders
  • Have the support of leadership including, as appropriate, administrators and the school board
  • Be informed by relevant district and community data
  • Incorporate evidence-informed, culturally-relevant best practices
  • Demonstrate commitment to differentiated strategies based on different needs
  • Demonstrate how district offices, funding streams and any previously conflicting practices were aligned through comprehensive planning 

Grantees will be expected to align their work with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. Those unfamiliar with WSCC are still encouraged to apply as resources and technical assistance will be available to support local level grantees.

Proposals must focus on:

Differentiated, youth friendly and equitable implementation of at least one of the following:

  • Comprehensive physical activity programs
  • Supportive nutrition environments and healthy food and beverages
  • Cultures and climates in schools are supportive of student and staff health and wellness*
  • Health education*

* Inclusive of/in support of healthy eating and/or comprehensive physical activity

Review criteria will include the following prioritized elements:

  • Potential to increase health equity
    • For the purposes of this funding opportunity, health equity is defined as when all students, no matter what their social position, have the opportunity to attain their full health potential and be ready to learn. Achieving health equity requires valuing all students equally with focused and ongoing efforts to address systemic and avoidable inequalities, including historical and contemporary injustices
  • Inclusion of priority populations in planning and implementing the proposed work
  • Efforts led by community organizations/leaders from marginalized communities
  • Whether a specific staff person who will commit time and effort to the grant has been identified

With a value on community input, an overview of your grant application may be shared with community members to acquire additional input. Community members will not decide whether or not to fund an application, but will provide the Foundation with additional perspectives. If you have questions, please contact Dara Hessee.


Evaluation is an important part of this overall funding strategy and the work of Healthy Schools Collective Impact. As part of this, we encourage you to participate in and use the learning from some of the existing data systems, such as Smart Source and the Healthy Kids Colorado survey.

You may want to review the data available in each of these systems to think about which types of change you plan to influence with your work. You will be asked to participate in a minimal amount of evaluation activities, such as the occasional survey or interviews as well as reporting on your key activities and outcomes. However, there will not be intensive data collection requirements as part of this evaluation.

We often partner with third-party evaluators, contractors and other organizations over the course of our work with applicants and grantees. Your application and its attachments may be shared with these individuals or entities during the review process and grant cycle. All third-party organizations partnering with the Foundation have signed a confidentiality agreement and will not use or share the information for purposes outside of the scope of work specific to the grant application or grant award. If you have any concerns or would like additional information, please email or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.

What We Will Fund
  • Staff time
  • Project costs
  • Participant stipends
  • Meeting expenses
  • Materials
  • Travel
  • Translation services
  • Up to 10 percent of your budget for evaluation activities to support participation in the broader Healthy Schools Collective Impact evaluation and/or evaluation activities focused on your organization's activities 
What We Will NOT Fund

View the most recent archived webinar:
Creating Healthy Schools: Informational Webinar
(Recorded May 11, 2016)
Download presentation slides (pdf)

View an archived webinar that focuses on the application process:
Creating Healthy Schools: How to Apply
(Recorded Jan. 11, 2016)
Download presentation slides (pdf)

View an archived webinar that walks through three Creating Healthy Schools funding opportunities:
Creating Healthy Schools: Funding Options
(Recorded Dec. 8, 2015)
Download presentation slides (pdf)