CDC Foundation Announces Partnership with Cargill to Help Elementary Schools Boost Student Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (CDC Foundation) has partnered with Cargill, CDC, and the American School Health Association (ASHA) to award mini-grants to 47 U.S. elementary schools to improve their physical activity and nutrition policies and programs. Schools will use the mini-grants to implement components of their overall health programs, such as building walking tracks, improving physical education curricula, or increasing healthy food choices in lunch rooms and classrooms.

This mini-grant program is made possible by a $300,000 grant from Cargill to the CDC Foundation. ASHA recruited health and education experts to review the applications and select the final 47 grantees from almost 600 applicants. School health experts from CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health will provide technical assistance to the grantees to help them effectively implement improvements.

According to CDC, the number of overweight adolescents in the United States tripled between 1980 and 2002. Today, 17 percent of U.S. children and teens are overweight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

"The U.S. obesity epidemic is not just a problem for the health care system," says Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "The problem of obesity affects families, schools, employers and entire communities and must be addressed through partnerships that combine the strengths of the public, private and non-profit sectors. We are proud to partner with Cargill, the American School Health Association and CDC to help young people live healthier, longer lives."

"Cargill is committed to supporting innovative programs that help children develop positive, lifelong nutrition and physical fitness habits," says Michelle Grogg, director of corporate contributions for Cargill. "We know schools in our communities are working hard to educate students about these important issues but have very limited resources. Cargill is pleased to partner with the CDC Foundation, CDC and ASHA to support these activities."

The mini-grant program encourages schools to use CDC's School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide, a user-friendly, science-based, self-assessment tool to help schools assess and improve their health and safety policies and programs in the context of a coordinated school health program. It focuses on several topics, including physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, asthma and unintentional injury and violence prevention. To be eligible for the mini-grant program, school administrators and staff, community members, parents and students of each school worked together to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the school's health and safety policies and programs, and then developed a step-by-step action plan for improvement.

Mini-grants from the CDC Foundation will help make important improvements to physical activity and nutrition policies and programs at the following 47 elementary schools:

Alpha School - Chadron, NE
Bells Ferry Elementary - Marietta, GA
Carruthers Elementary - Murphysboro, IL
Cedar Heights Elementary - Lancaster, OH
Central Intermediate School - Wadsworth, OH
Dalton Elementary - Nunda, NY
Davidson Elementary - San Bernardino, CA
DeAnza Elementary School - Baldwin Park, CA
Denkmann Elementary School - Rock Island , IL
DeWitt Elementary School - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Elden Elementary School - Baldwinsville, NY
Elias Howe Elementary School - New York, NY
Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option School - Nashville, TN
Gallego Basic Elementary School - Tucson , AZ
George Keverian School - Everett, MA
Glenoaks Elementary School - Glendale , CA
Hickory Creek Elementary - McMinnville, TN
High Point Elementary School - Bristol, VA
Independent Elementary School - Billings, MT
Jefferson Elementary School - Monticello, FL
Joseph W. Grier Academy - Charlotte, NC
Liberty Christian School - Argyle , TX
Los Ranchitos Elementary School - Tucson, AZ
Madisonville Intermediate School - Madisonville, TN
Magness Creek Elementary School - Cabot, AR
Marshpoint Elementary School - Savannah, GA
Maxfield Magnet Elementary School - St. Paul, MN
Mineral City Elementary School - Mineral City, OH
Minnesauke Elementary School - East Setauket, NY
Monac Elementary School - Toledo, OH
North Intermediate School of Education - Mt. Carmel, IL
O.R. Edgington Elementary School - Englewood, OH
Patterson Elementary School - Tecumseh, MI
Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School - West Chester, PA
Ramsey Elementary School - Montevideo, MN
Ranchito Elementary School - Los Angeles, CA
Ridgedale Elementary School - Morral, OH
Roosevelt Elementary School - Willmar, MN
St. Joseph School - LaPorte, IN
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Elementary School - Neenah, WI
Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners - Painesville, OH
R.J. Vial Elementary School - Paradis, LA
Thomas Jefferson Magnet School - Utica, NY
Valley View Elementary School - Bonners Ferry, ID
Walter Kidder Elementary School - Brunswick, OH
Westwood Elementary School - Stillwater, OK
Whittier Elementary School - Brainerd, MN

Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps CDC do more, faster by forging effective partnerships between CDC and individuals, corporations and foundations to fight threats to health and safety. For more information, please visit

Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 142,000 employees in 61 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information, visit

Founded in 1927, the American School Health Association is a multidisciplinary organization of health and education professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of children and youth by supporting coordinated school health programs as a foundation for school success. Headquartered in Kent, Ohio, the Association publishes the Journal of School Health and offers professional development opportunities to school health professionals. For more information, visit

More information about CDC's School Health Index is available online at