May 2, 2024

Is your local school one of America’s Healthiest?

Where people learn, work, and play has a big impact on health. Discover how 4 award-winning schools foster well-being through creative initiatives.

America’s Healthiest School awards recognize schools that strive to improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional health of students, staff, and families.

Healthy schools help students learn better and make teachers and staff happier.

That’s why we partner with schools through our Thriving Schools initiative to help ensure that teachers, staff, and students have the support they need to thrive.

And we recognize schools that improve the health of students and staff. In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, we’re proud to sponsor America’s Healthiest Schools awards every year.

In fall 2023, 781 schools in 36 states received awards. Here’s what 4 of these great schools in our Kaiser Permanente communities do to thrive.

Audubon Elementary School, Spokane, Washington


Audubon Elementary works to make sure its families can get healthy food. Students and staff care for a community garden. In the garden, students grow fruits and vegetables and learn about nutrition.


The school teams up with community health centers, providing referrals to meet students’ individual dental, vision, hearing, and other medical needs. It also built a strong counseling system to help students with their social and emotional health.

For staff, a social committee was set up to promote self-care and create a positive work culture. A family engagement committee organizes monthly events to bring families and staff together to celebrate the students’ achievements.


Carlos Santana Arts Academy, North Hills, California


Carlos Santana Arts Academy works with local food banks to ensure families in the community can access healthy food. School staff members run a food pantry at the school.


A Healthy Start navigator provides devoted case management, and a family resource navigator helps connect students and families — including those with low incomes, English learners, and foster youth — to community resources.


Elizabeth Andrews High School, Stone Mountain, Georgia


Elizabeth Andrews High School serves nontraditional students, such as those who want to start college or work early, those who need to catch up on classes to graduate, employed dropouts seeking education, and students who are married or have other family obligations.


To support the diverse student needs, the school offers flexible class schedules, after-school fitness programs, and online exercise classes.

Students can also take mental health and emotional health classes, where they use innovative tools, like virtual reality headsets, to help with exercises and to manage stress.


Swallows Charter Academy, Pueblo, Colorado


Swallows Charter Academy has come up with clever ways to support the health of students, families, and staff. For example, it uses gratitude “tattle jars.” School staff write notes when they feel thankful for each other, and they share these notes during meetings.


A spa-like wellness room offers relaxation for staff feeling stressed. The school hosts activities that bring the community together.

Learn more about the America’s Healthiest Schools award program — and see whether your local school is one of the country’s healthiest.