Teachers for Healthy Kids, a project of the California Teachers Association, was created in order to address the link between student health and learning though CTA member education and local association, district, and state interventions. The project operates under the CTA Community Outreach/Human Rights umbrella and consists of four programs, each of which addresses different health issues.
THK Health Outreach: This original project was first implement in 2002 through general funding by The California Endowment. THK works with school districts, local teacher associations, and health plan partners to promote the enrollment of eligible children in no or low cost health insurance programs. The project is now funded through the California Association of Health Plans with support from various health plan partners.
Healthy Air, Healthy Kids: Started in 2006, this California Endowment education and outreach program aims to improve indoor air quality and reduce asthma triggers in schools through school site interventions and district policy changes.
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: This California Endowment funded expansion of THK began in 2008 to support CTA member education and outreach on nutrition and physical education and activity issues. The program aims to involve local associations in supporting the implementation of district Wellness Policies and involve CTA in state policy issues.
The goal of Teachers for Healthy Kids is to address the health and learning issues facing students through the valued resources that teachers and the school community offer. The projects have been designed for teachers and respect their unique needs and existing workload. Project objectives are easy to implement, require little time commitment, and utilize project resources, while producing significant positive results. The health coverage outreach project is designed to partner teachers and school districts with health plan representatives to identify uninsured students and enroll those eligible in no or low cost health insurance programs. The Healthy Air, Healthy Kids project provides teachers with resources and information on how they can improve the indoor air quality of their classrooms and how local associations can influence district policy change. The Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds project will provide teachers with educational resources on nutrition and physical activity/physical education.
In addition to school outreach, Teachers for Healthy Kids also is involved with policy at the state and national levels. From attending hearings in Sacramento to participating in working groups to providing guidance on relevant legislation, THK has been involved with policy issues around health coverage, indoor air quality, and nutrition and physical activity. Some examples of THK’s most recent activity is the work on the Medicaid Administrative Activities billing, which brings in millions of federal dollars for California schools, and the California Clean and Healthy Schools Act, which requires schools to use green cleaning products, where economically feasible. To learn more about the policy efforts, please see our policy information page.