2019 Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Convening:
Leaving a Footprint, Spreading Roots: Sustaining CHSC Activities into the Future

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the 2019 CHSC Convening and helped make it a success! Held September 10th–12th in Yonkers, the Convening brought together the CHSC community to exchange ideas, develop skills, and engage with Yonkers leaders and organizations. This summary includes key points captured through graphic recording and photos, and materials from the Convening.


Access the program, full inventory of graphics illustrated by InkyBrittany, and photos from the Convening. All materials from the Convening are available in Health-e-Link > Documents > Convening.

If you did not fill out the Convening evaluation (Days 1 & 2), you can complete it here

Tuesday, September 10th
Coffee & Conversation with the WELL Campaign

Many of us had the opportunity to chat about the future of school wellness policies in New York State, and discuss WELL Campaign priorities and ways to get involved. Learn more about the WELL Campaign here

Welcome from NYSDOH and NYOPCE

Attendees were welcomed by Dan French (NYSDOH), Amanda Ryder (NYOPCE), Dr. Jim Bostic (Nepperhan Community Center), and Shawyn Patterson-Howard (Yonkers YMCA). 

Making Change Together: A Conversation with Community Leaders 

Moderated by Cheryl Brannan from the Nepperhan Community Center, this panel discussion featured Senator Shelley Mayer, Superintendent, Dr. Edwin Quezada, Assemblyman, Nader J. Sayegh, and Mayor Mike Spano. Panelists discussed their views on collaboration with community residents, their plans to ensure sustainability of legislation and funding in support of healthy eating and physical activity opportunities, and key considerations advocates should know about working effectively with community leaders.

Hear from Your Peers

Grantee-led sessions provided an opportunity to hear from, and engage with, colleagues, on a variety of topics. The eight sessions included: 

  • The Daily Mile: Fit for Life and Fit for Learning, Rockland County Department of Health (slidedeck)

  • Physical Activity Promotion in Schools: What are the Barriers and Facilitators?, Western Suffolk BOCES (slidedeck)

  • Shifting Gears: Using Community Engagement and Data to Create a More Active Built Environment, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (slidedeck)

  • Students Pave the Way for Complete Streets, North Country Healthy Heart Network, Inc. (slidedeck and video)

  • Project Hunger - Keeping Food Out of the Dumpster, Rockland County Department of Health (slidedeck)

  • Building Healthy Communities, One Corner Store at a Time, Choice for All and Western Suffolk BOCES (slidedeck)

  • Moving Towards Sustainability of School Wellness Policies in New York State, Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH (slidedeck)

  • Once an Outsider, Now an Insider, CCE Sullivan County (slidedeck)

CHSC Program and Evaluation Updates
Dan French provided grant program updates, relevant statewide chronic disease prevention activities, and Y5 CHSC guidance. Access Dan’s slides here. MJ Pattison provided a review of performance monitoring data, and presented preliminary findings from evaluation projects. Access MJ's slides here
Wednesday, September 11th
Keynote: Making Equity a Reality

Glenn Harris from Race Forward led a thought-provoking and inspiring keynote session where he discussed the reality of inequities, in particular racial inequity and its historic, cultural, and institutional impact. Glenn underscored that a structural approach to addressing inequities names our history and its cumulative impacts, and provides policy solutions that cut across multiple institutions. Access Glenn’s slides here

What's the Buzz? Peer Roundtables

Grantees spent time networking and chatting with their peers about strategies they are working on, or are interested in pursuing. Visit Health-e-Link for resources developed and shared by facilitators on indoor walking trails and food banks/pantries (Documents > 2019 Convening > Day 2 > Roundtables). If you have resources that pertain to a roundtable topic, please upload them to Health-e-Link.

Going Local: Visits to Yonkers CHSC Sites

Attendees participated in one of four site visits to experience firsthand CHSC successes in Yonkers: 

  • It’s Elementary! Pre-K–5 Wellness in Action

  • Two Schools plus One Y=Wellness for All

  • Yonkers Agencies and Businesses Go the Extra Mile for Healthy Communities

  • Visit City Spaces by Bike

Others participated in a workshop, The Story of Equity, facilitated by Glenn Harris, where participants learned how to talk effectively about issues of race and equity. Access the slides here


The Solution Room: Bring a Challenge. Get Tips and Tricks.

Grantees had the opportunity to discuss a problem or challenge they are facing in their CHSC work and received advice from colleagues. 

Trolley to Downtown Yonkers
A group of grantees hopped on a trolley for a sightseeing tour of key Yonkers destinations including Untermyer Park, Nepperhan Community Center, Yonkers Saw Mill River Daylighting, Beczak Environmental Center, the Science Barge, and more. The group also enjoyed fresh drinks and wheatgrass samples from Juices for Life!

Thursday, September 12th
Systems Thinking, Systems Changing

Jess Lawrence from Cairn Guidance facilitated a workshop to help participants reflect on systems change in school settings, explore effective leadership strategies, understand how to address resistance, and identify key systems change components to sustain CHSC work. Access the slides and resources

NYS Walking College: Collaborative Action Planning Workshop

Ian Thomas from America Walks, along with Walking College mentors Shannon Purdy, Lisa Kenney, and Jeff Olson, facilitated a workshop for CHSC coordinators and their community partners to support them in finalizing their Collaborative Action Plans, share knowledge, and build community capacity for sustainability. Access Ian's slides, slides from grantee presentations, and resources

Copyright 2018 Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence, All rights reserved.

This project is supported by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) under grant # DOH01-CHSCA-2014. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by NYSDOH.

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