Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

September 10, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert today announced that the Rockland County Department of Health has received a Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant from the New York State Department of Health. The purpose of the grant is to increase access to physical activity and healthy nutrition for students and residents as a way to reduce risk factors for obesity.

Over the next five years, staff in the Health Department's Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention will work with the East Ramapo Central School District and Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown on several projects to increase access to physical activity and healthy food options. The grant will provide funds to improve policies, practices, and environment supports that make the healthy choice the easy choice. "We have been working with school districts and municipalities on obesity prevention strategies for many years. This grant will help us to take it to the next level," said Dr. Ruppert.

The East Ramapo Central School District, over the next five years, will achieve several measures of a healthier school district. With technical support from the Eat Smart New York program, the district will update its wellness policy to comply with current federal regulations and nutritional guidelines, as well as implement Smarter Lunchrooms in each school. Smarter Lunchrooms is a research-based approach to the school cafeteria environment that enhances child nutrition. A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) will be developed to enhance physical education, recess, and the use of physical activity in the classroom. The school district has been excited to partner on this grant knowing that while improving overall health and well being, increased physical activity and healthy nutrition also improves student learning readiness. Finally, all schools will enroll in the Healthy Schools Program through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and attain at least the bronze level of achievement in healthy school programming.

The community portion of the grant will result in Complete Streets policies and healthier food options in corner stores. Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed to allow safe access for all users, including walkers, bikers, motorists and people using public transportation, wheelchairs and strollers. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, the Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown will complete transportation projects that will make the streets better and safer for all - making our towns a better place to live, work and play. In addition, small corner stores in the communities surrounding East Ramapo schools will be invited to receive technical assistance in offering produce, low fat dairy products, and whole grains to customers.

For more information about the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant, call the Health Department at (845) 364-2360.