Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) is a five-year (2015-2020), public health initiative of Sustainable Long Island and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) with the goal of reducing major risk factors of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in high-need school districts and associated communities statewide. The primary goal of the program is to implement multi-component evidence-based policies, place-based strategies, and promising practices to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity.
Sustainable Long Island (SLI), along with the Western Suffolk BOCES Student Support Services Center (SSSC) and Stony Brook Medicine (SBM) are members of the project team for Long Island, working in the targeted school districts and communities of Brentwood, Central Islip, Southampton/Shinnecock Indian Nation, Wyandanch and Roosevelt. WS BOCES SSSC is the lead for the program and all school based strategies, while SLI and SBM are working with the community-based strategies of the program, described in detail below. SLI is the lead for supporting Complete Streets education and implementation in all five communities as well as working with healthy food retail in Roosevelt, Central Islip, and Wyandanch.
The purpose of this page will be to provide resources and information on the CHSC program as the work of project team progresses and also will provide an outlet for updates and success stories in the schools and communities we are working in.
Strategies That Make A Difference
Long Island residents deserve every opportunity to live healthy lives. The ability to make healthy choices is shaped by where individuals live, work, and learn. CHSC grantees are taking action to increase opportunities for healthier living throughout the state. These activities span school districts and their associated communities.
- Wellness policies: Revise, implement, and assess local wellness policies to improve the school environment
- Healthy food environment: Increase access to healthy, affordable foods and enhance school districts’ ability to meet federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside the school meals programs
- Food marketing: Restrict food marketing to children
- Physical activity: Establish Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP)
- Healthy food access: Increase access to healthy foods in communities through small food retail, food hubs, and mobile produce sales
- Healthy procurement: Increase adoption and use of food standards and procurement policies that increase healthy foods in community settings
- Active transportation: Increase opportunities to walk, bike, and roll by adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies, plans, and practices
These strategies represent evidence-based policies, place-based strategies, and promising practices carefully selected for their potential to support healthy eating and active living. By 2020, the school-based strategies are expected to reach 100% of schools in participating districts. The community-based strategies are expected to improve food access for at least 10% of the population in selected communities and to foster marked increases in the number of communities with Complete Streets policies, plans, and projects.
What are Complete Streets?
Complete Streets are designed with everyone in mind. They allow for safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit users, no matter the age and ability. Complete Streets integrate people and place into the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation networks.
Ulysses Byas Elementary School Fire Department Walk
On Wednesday, October 19th Sustainable Long Island (SLI) and Western Suffolk BOCES accompanied students from Ulysses Byas Elementary School in Roosevelt on their annual Fire Department Education Walk. As part of the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) program, and in an effort to promote walkability and access to physical activity, Sustainable Long Island led the students through a Walkability Audit Checklist during the walk that assessed the built environment and safety along the route of their walk. Students provided feedback on questions related to the ability to safely cross streets, driver behavior, and overall pleasantness of the walk. This activity will not only be used by SLI to identify problem areas for Complete Streets and walkability in the community, but also helps to get children thinking about pedestrian safety. During the course of the walk students took over 5,000 steps, which is half of the daily recommended number of 10,000. To read more about this event, please visit https://www.facebook.com/HSNYWSBOCES/.
Shinnecock Health Fair
On Wednesday August 3rd, Sustainable Long Island attended the Shinnecock Health Fair. The SLI project team had a resource table at the Health Fair to introduce residents of the Reservation to the grant program and share information about the CHSC program goals. Sustainable Long Island also collected feedback from residents about their local infrastructure and what features of “Complete Streets” they would like to see on the Reservation. Residents were excited to hear about the CHSC grant and intrigued by the idea of incorporating Complete Streets features in their community. To read more about this event, visit shinnecock-health-fair
2016 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is making available $98.7 million in funding to support bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related projects and programs as well as projects that reduce congestion and will help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Applications for this funding opportunity must be received by October 21, 2016. To apply for funding, please visit https://www.dot.ny.gov/TAP-CMAQ