VITAHLS is the Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools.

It began in 2011 as a partnership between the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (PRC), Griffin Hospital, and the Naugatuck Valley school districts in Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton, along with Emmett O’Brien Technical High School. Over time, the Naugatuck Valley Health District, Naugatuck Public Schools, Massaro Community Farm, ShopRite Supermarket, and Valley YMCA have also joined the VITAHLS partnership.

The aim of VITAHLS is to promote a healthy lifestyle to PreK-12 students in the Naugatuck Valley and their families, and to school staff as well. This includes a focus on nutrition and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

VITAHLS health promotion efforts have evolved and expanded over time. Those designed for students have included elementary school programs (Nutrition Detectives and ABC for Fitness), a middle school nutrition education program (Your Road to Health), an annual healthy cooking competition, a cookbook, school gardens, field trips to a community farm, a nutritional scoring system in school cafeterias, and physical activity videos featuring local high school students. Those intended for school staff have included Coach to 5K training programs, healthy weight loss competitions, and a nutrition workshop.

VITAHLS includes evaluation components to track the success of our interventions, determine the effectiveness of the partnership, and invite health promotion ideas and opinions from students, parents, and school staff. The VITAHLS initiative has been made possible through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Griffin Hospital, along with supplemental funding from the Jones Family Farm.

For more information and to visit the VITAHLS website, click here:   »  VITAHLS