Springboard to Active Schools

Supporting schools in creating active environments

About Active School Environments

National guidelines recommend that elementary and secondary school-age youth participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Doing so results in multiple health benefits; furthermore, research demonstrates that active students also make better learners and improve school climate.

The challenge: Despite the numerous health and academic achievement benefits of physically active young people, most do not engage in the recommended levels of 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

The opportunity: With over 50 million students enrolled in elementary and secondary school nationally, schools are critical settings to promote physical education and physical activity (PE/PA). By creating environments that encourage students to be physically active and reach 60 minutes a day, schools can positively contribute to the health and academic success of its students.

Our Work

In 2016, NNPHI was awarded a five-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement to promote physical education and physical activity in schools. NNPHI and Health Resources in Action (HRiA) partnered together to develop and launch Springboard to Active Schools (Springboard), a national initiative that supports CDC grantees and school health leaders at all levels across the country to promote and improve active school environments based on the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) framework.  

In 2020, Springboard was awarded supplemental funding to support schools with physical education and physical activity as they returned to school – either in-person or virtually – during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this supplemental funding, Springboard prioritized populations of communities hardest hit by COVID, particularly focusing on schools, districts, and states serving Indigenous students, and provided guidance, resources, and training on implementing classroom physical activity safely and equitably during COVID-19.

Our Approach

Springboard has three priority approaches of focus:

  • Professional development and technical assistance: The Springboard team hosts in-person and virtual training and technical assistance opportunities to support states to implement active school environments.  Since COVID-19, Springboard has worked closely with CDC-funded grantees and partners to adapt professional development approaches to a virtual environment.
  • Communications and dissemination: Through the engagement of subject matter experts and environmental scans of the data and literature, the Springboard team develops, designs, and disseminates practical tools and resources to equip grantees and broader constituents with the best evidence and practical resources to integrate physical activity before, during, and after school. 
  • Partnership and coordination: The Springboard team actively identifies and engages external, multi-sector stakeholders to leverage expertise and identify opportunities for collaboration. 

Our Impact

In partnership with CDC and national experts in the field, Springboard to Active Schools published the evidenced-based guidance, strategies, and implementation tools for classroom physical activity and created practical resources for classroom physical activity during COVID-19. 

Springboard to Active Schools has hosted more than 40 trainings, including Training of Trainers, webinars, conference presentations, and virtual Online Learning Institutes. These trainings – both virtual and in-person – have reached school health leaders in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. 

In addition, Springboard has released more than 90 new evidence-based resources, most notably around practical implementation of classroom physical activity.

Our Resources

Classroom Physical Activity 

Data and Policy Briefs 

Additional Resources 

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us.

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