Healthy Zone School Program


The Healthy Zone School Program was developed by The Cooper Institute and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to support and recognize schools that are fighting the childhood obesity epidemic and creating healthy school environments.

Each school in the Healthy Zone School Program follows a similar path to creating a culture of health on their campus. By combining the push for physical activity with nurturing education, schools can teach kids and their families how to make healthy choices in their daily lives.

A Partnership of United Way

In 2011, The Cooper Institute and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas joined forces to create the Healthy Zone School Program, to recognize and reward schools for their healthy practices. This program gives schools resources to engage teachers, students, parents, and the broader community in a joint effort to create a culture of health.

Healthy Zone Schools is open to North Texas elementary, middle and high schools and public, private, and charter schools in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, and southern Denton counties. The program expanded to 196 schools this past year, reaching over 159,000 local students.

The Cooper Institute

Best Practices to Improve Student Health

The Healthy Zone School Program draws on data and best practices from the two-year Centers of Excellence pilot project by The Cooper Institute and 19 schools in the Dallas area. The program measures success with FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute as its formal assessment of student fitness. The use of evidence-based knowledge and best practices allows schools to create an environment optimal for promoting lifelong healthy behaviors.

A growing body of research shows that improved student fitness can lead to:

  • Improved cardio fitness
  • Reduced obesity rates
  • Higher academic achievement
  • Better attendance
  • Fewer behavioral problems
  • Improved mental health