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Weight of the State

Strengthening Schools

Empower Program

Empower Pack

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Empower program is a voluntary nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention program for licensed childcare providers. This initiative empowers childcare providers, as well as the children and families they serve, to enjoy healthy eating and active living. Childcare providers can become an Empower provider by agreeing to follow 10 best practices to empower children to lead healthier lives in exchange for a 50% reduction in licensure fees.

Almost 90% of licensed childcare providers in Arizona are participating in the ADHS Empower program reaching over 220,000 children statewide. As a result of this overwhelming success, ADHS has been selected to be recognized for outstanding work to promote young children's health and prevent childhood obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC. William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated this in announcing the award: "We applaud your creative strategies to get children moving and encourage healthy eating. We are inspired by your efforts to work with families and overcome challenges to help children get off to a healthy start."

For more information, visit our Empower Program website.

Casa Grande: Safe Routes to School

Casa Grande team members
Mary Allen, center, poses with Casa Grande community members and public workers who completed the Active School Neighborhood Checklist for their city.

Students at Casa Grande's Palo Alto Elementary School now can be more active thanks to funding received from the Safe Routes to School program of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The funding allows the school to host "bike rodeos" with safety tips for parents and students, organize and lead walk-to-school days and the "Walk across Casa Grande" that challenges students to track the number of steps they walk for 8 weeks.

Palo Alto Elementary School was able to get the funding thanks to a partnership between the city of Casa Grande, ADOT and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Mary Allen, Casa Grande's grant writer, convened a team to address the barriers preventing students from safely walking and biking to and from Palo Alto Elementary. The team then completed the Active School Neighborhood Checklist, an assessment tool created by ADHS and ADOT's Safe Routes to School Program. The results of this assessment helped the team develop the application for the funding.

For more information visit our Active Schools website.