California Project LEAN

Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition


Happy Holidays!

California Project LEAN wishes you and yours the merriest of holiday seasons!


In this edition of California Project LEAN's (CPL) enews, you will learn about one of our resources, which has been used throughout communities in California to engage English- and Spanish-speaking parents in local school wellness policy work. Also in this edition, you will learn how supportive parents and students are of the new federal school meal requirements per a survey by The California Endowment.  Lastly, we invite you to join us in a small, intimate setting to review our parent engagement toolkits and determine how you might be able to utilize them in your school wellness work.


We look forward to connecting with you in 2013!


Here's to your health!

Cyndi Walter

Program Director

California Project LEAN


Hot off the Press! 

CPL's Parent Toolkit Now Includes Lesson on Addressing Sugary Drinks in Schools


In support of the movement across this state and nation to address the widespread access to sugary beveraParents in Action 2012_pic 1ges, California Project LEAN has adapted its Parent Lesson Plans: Advocating for
Healthier School Environments toolkit, available in English and Spanish, to include a lesson on sugary drinks in schools.  


Funded by The California Endowment, this work through the Public Health Institute involves Project LEAN staff training a core group of parents on the local school wellness policy and the opportunities for them to support the revision, implementation and monitoring of the policy.


Project LEAN staff has trained parents from Coachella to San Diego, Kern County, Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Shasta County utilizing Parent Lesson Plans and the companion toolkit fParents in Action 2012_pic 2or key intermediaries who work with parents, Parents in Action: A Guide to Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy. Once trained, parents have joined their district wellness committees to help inform the process for strengthening the local school wellness policy. They have also drafted action plans that highlight the issues they want to work on locally.


Parent Lesson Plans includes lessons on the wellness policy, foods and beverages on campus, physical activity on campus, sugary beverages, joint use and a final lesson on parents taking action in schools.


On Wed., Jan.16, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon, Project LEAN will host a free workshop on "Engaging Parents through the School Wellness Policy" at The California Endowment, 1111 Broadway, Oakland CA.  Registration is open to the first 25 who email us at [email protected] by Jan. 10, 2013.  A similar training will be held at The California Endowment's Los Angeles office on Feb. 13, 2013, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  If you are interested in attending either one of these trainings, please indicate in your email which training you would like to attend.  
Californians Overwhelmingly Support Recent School Meals Overhaul; Students Say Lunches Are Better than Last Year


Surveys Show Strong Parent and Student Support for National Nutrition Standards, Including Portion Size Guidelines and Calorie Limits


Sacramento, CA - Students who say school lunches are better this year outnumber those who think meals are getting worse by more than a 3-to-1 ratio, according to a poll released recently by The California Endowment. The survey is the first to ask California students what they think about the national school meal nutrition standards that took effect this academic year.


The nutrition standards, which were developed by experts at the Institute of Medicine and United States Department of Agriculture, include:

  • Increased produce options, ensuring that students receive both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
  • A ban on unhealthy trans fats;
  • Portion size guidelines and calorie limits based on the age of children served;
  • Increased emphasis on whole grain products;
  • Limits on the types of milk served, with an emphasis on low-fat (1%) and non-fat varieties; and
  • Reductions in sodium levels to be phased in over several years.

After being read a short description of the standards, 82 percent of students say they support the changes. In a separate survey, parents reported even stronger approval, with 91 percent expressing support. However, parental awareness lagged behind that of students. Before being read a description of the standards, only 36 percent of parents said they were aware of the changes made this year, compared to 73 percent of students.


"These are blockbuster results that validate the hard work of developing and implementing these updated nutrition standards. Students like the healthier meals, packed with fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. And it's not just about taste. Healthy meals help students succeed in the classroom and teach them the benefits of a healthy diet. That's why we say 'Health Happens in Schools.' If today's students eat better and live healthier, we all benefit over the long run, in lower obesity and diabetes rates, reduced health care costs, and improved academic performance," said Judi Larsen, Program Manager for The California Endowment.

For more information on this survey, visit The Endowment's homepage at

California Project LEAN | PO Box 997377, MS 7211 | Sacramento | CA | 95899
Tel: (916) 552-9907 | Fax: (916) 552-9909 |

December 2012
Girl at Playground
In This Issue
Parent Toolkit Hot off the Press!
Lunch is Better in California!

Quick Links

Youth Engagement Tools 

Engaging youth in your effort to improve the food and physical activity environment of your community is a great opportunity for adults and young people to learn from each other.  Youth leaders can lend credibility to your efforts, as well as provide an opportunity for young people to connect with adults in their community in a positive way.  California Project LEAN has a long history of working with youth, and has developed a number of tools on successfully engaging youth in the effort to improve their school food and physical activity options. 

Click here to view our resources 

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