Creating Healthy Schools and Communities

The Rockland County Department of Health is one of 25 communities to receive 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 to reduce risk factors for obesity.

Between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2020, staff in the Health Department's Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Program will work with the East Ramapo Central School District and the Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown on several projects to boost physical activity and make healthy food options common place in schools, public sites, worksites, community-based organizations, and in corner stores. The grant will provide funds to improve policies, practices, and environmental 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. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County Commissioner of Health.

The community portion of the grant will focus on Complete Streets policies and implementing 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, starting with those closest to East Ramapo schools, better and safer for all. 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) 364-2500 or email steps@co.rockland.ny.us.