Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 16 | September 2023

Working collaboratively on policies and practices in and around schools that promote equity and improve the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of children, youth, and families.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the positions of all coalition partners.
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KCHC Member Highlights

Advocacy Series |State & Federal Policy Updates

The ThriveKY coalition and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will hold their Quarterly Advocacy Update on state and federal policies with an impact on Kentucky families on September 5, 2023, 2:00 to 3:30 ET. Register here.

Mini Grants | Farm to School Network Taste Testing Mini-Grants


With special funding from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Farm to School Network is pleased to offer a third round of grant funding for taste testing activities for the 2023-24 school year. This project will provide funding to implement taste testing activities in Kentucky schools that allow students to try Kentucky-grown produce, increase their understanding of where food comes from, and make connections between students and farmers. The grant period will be from September 2023 until the end of May 2024 and at least six (6) mini-grants of $1,000 each will be awarded through this project. Information on applicant eligibility and eligible expenses as well as a link to the application form can be found in this document. Applications are due by September 8, 2023 at 11:59pm ET.

Read more and apply here.


Advocacy Series | ThriveKY Regional Advocacy for Thriving Communities Series

Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH) & the coalition of ThriveKY partners will provide in-person around the Commonwealth events this year, April through November, with updates on state and federal policies that impact the health and wellbeing of Kentuckians. Speakers will discuss how to advocate for a stronger safety net through public assistance programs designed to support thriving communities. The series includes important updates on the economy, Medicaid, KCHIP, SNAP, housing, transportation, childcare, public health, behavioral health, and others. They provide tools to assist community members with meeting basic needs and tips on being a more effective advocate in your community. Click here for more information.

Register here for the September 19 event in Louisville from 10am-1pm EDT.

Annual Forum | 2023 Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum

Registration is now open for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Annual Bost Policy Forum, Healthcare Workforce S.O.S: Support, Optimize, & Sustain. Access to quality care requires a strong healthcare workforce at the base. Learn about current barriers providers face and what can help.

The forum will take place Wednesday, October 11, 8:30-4:30 EDT at the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Gold Resort & Spa.

Register here.

Grand Rounds | Biology of Stress and Trauma and How This Affects Every-Day Life

The Bounce Coalition is holding a Grand Rounds on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at 10:00-11:30 a.m. EST, where they will focus on the biology of stress and trauma and how this affects everyday life. The Bounce Grand Rounds is a forum designed to foster cross-sector collaboration and build a more resilient, trauma-informed community – while generating practical solutions.

Register here

What's New in Children's Health

Update | Applications for 22-23 School Year P-EBT


The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year P-EBT. P-EBT provides reimbursement for households that had to cover additional at-home food purchases for students who were unable to participate in school due to COVID. This benefit is open to students who attended public and private in-person schools, as well as homeschool and virtual. The application period will run through the end of September, but has been staggered to roll out in phases. Visit to learn more and check if a child may be eligible.

P-EBT for the 2023 summer period is still coming, and will likely be sent once this process for the 22-23 school year P-EBT concludes. No application is required for summer P-EBT, as eligibility is determined automatically.


Policy Brief | Reducing Childhood Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption

The Center on Social Dynamics and Policy at Brookings has released a new policy brief, Reducing Childhood Sugar sweetened Beverage Consumption: Using Agent-based Models to Inform Policy. As the brief indicates, childhood consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), such as sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks, is linked to numerous negative health outcomes, both near and long-term. Reducing consumption has been a challenge. Brookings has developed an agent-based model (ABM) to evaluate intervention efforts in different settings – childcare, schools, and at home. This research showed that reduction of access to SSBs in the home was the most promising context for intervention, reducing consumption by as much as 60%.

Policy Brief here

Research | Effectiveness of a School Drinking Water Promotion and Access Program for Overweight Prevention

Pediatrics online has released a study with a focus on drinking water, the healthy alternative to sugar sweetened beverages. The NIH-funded study finds that a school-based intervention to improve access to and promotion of tap water can help prevent overweight in 4th-grade students. The study was led by Dr. Anisha Patel from Standford University.

Link to the study here.

Link to the National Drinking Water Alliance with access to intervention materials, a short video on the project (in English and Spanish), here

Campaign | Keep Kids Covered!

In Kentucky, 50% of children rely on Medicaid and KCHIP for health coverage. As part of Back-to-School season, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services are asking the Medicaid community to help them to “ensure not losing health coverage is at the top of families’ to-do lists this year along with pencils, crayons, and three-ring binders!” To help spread this message, they have created a flyer available to download here in English, and here in Spanish.

This material can be printed and shared with families during back-to-school events and placed throughout school facilities in places of high visibility, such as bulletin boards and break areas.

For additional information and resources related to the unwinding and the return of member renewals, please visit MedicaidUnwinding.Ky.Gov

In Your Community

Movement Matters: Using Physical Activity to Improve Kids’ Mental Health

Students in Garrard County are moving their bodies to improve their minds. After discovering a growing issue of students suffering from mental health trauma as reported by high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores the district decided to use movement as an intervention to help students succeed in alignment with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Framework. Regular physical activity is linked to a long list of physical, behavioral, and mental health benefits for youth. 

As part of these efforts, the district launched the “Zero Hour Fitness Program” at Camp Dick Robinson Elementary in 2019. Students who participated nearly doubled their academic improvement on the iReady test compared to their peers, seeing an 88% improvement on their scores compared to the control group. These students also had fewer absences compared to the previous year, with each student averaging nearly 2.5 additional school days to their attendance.

In 2021, the district also increased physical education time for all students at the elementary school. One student reported that this, ““would help me when I was sad or anxious. It would make me feel less of that.”

Moving forward, the school hopes to continue this journey with goals including:

  • Fundraising through Health Moves Minds.
  • Continue the Movement Culture momentum during a shift in school administration.
  • Be recognized as one of “America’s Healthiest Schools” by Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
  • Continue to educate current and new staff on the benefits of movement.
  • Create improved Recess Zone Areas that promote SEL & collaborative activities.

Garrard County was one of nine districts within the state which partnered with the Kentucky Department of Education from 2018-23 in the implementation of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Schools Cooperative Agreement to develop and implement school health infrastructure, best practices, programming and policies. For more information, contact Patrick Kennedy ([email protected]).

In Case You Missed It

UKNOW | Op-Ed: We can and will do better for Kentucky’s kids

WLKY | Back-to-school guide for parents and students in Kentucky, Indiana

WKYT | Hunger Action Month: More than 1 in 10 Kentuckians faces food insecurity

Commonwealth Journal | Surprise! You’ve lost your Medicaid

Cook With Us!

Follow along as we make healthy, kid-friendly recipes with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

Back to school time! These easy to make banana oat energy bites are a great daytime snack.  

Contact Us!

Do you have an upcoming event or exciting news to celebrate with our coalition? Please email Alexandra Kerley at [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming KCHC Newsletter!

Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583
Become a Member
Current KCHC Steering Committee Member Organizations:

Kentucky Department for Public Health

Kentucky Family Thrive

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Health Departments Association

Kentucky Nurses Association

Kentucky Primary Care Association

Kentucky Public Health Association

Kentucky Psychological Association 

Kentucky Voices for Health

Kentucky Youth Advocates

KY Parent Teacher Association – 16th District

Pritchard Committee for Academic Excellence

Seven Counties Services

Spalding University

St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Trans Parent Lex

United Healthcare

University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences

University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Studies