Strong Teens Healthy Schools

About Strong Teens Healthy Schools

Strong Teens Healthy Schools is a civic engagement, positive youth development, and cardiovascular disease prevention program. It provides education to help middle school students improve their physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. Throughout the program, group members also identify and advocate for a sustainable change in the school health environment so that it is easier, more convenient, and/or less expensive to eat well and be physically active.

Strong Teens Healthy Schools is delivered in a flexible 16-week format. Group members will develop knowledge and skills in civic engagement, nutrition, physical activity, and positive youth development.

The goals of this program are to:

  • Increase physical activity and healthy eating during the school day
  • Create social support for group members who are engaging in physical activity and nutrition
  • Develop advocacy skills for championing positive changes to the school health environment

The program will be divided into two parts across a school year. In the first part of the program, students will focus on fostering collaboration and peer support while identifying schools’ health-related needs. Members of the program will also plan a project that improves the school health environment (e.g., cafeteria salad bar, school-wide cardiovascular disease prevention education). In the second part of the year, students will meet to work toward achieving the goals of their school improvement project.

Researchers with the Texas A&M AgriLife – Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture are trying to understand the effectiveness of Strong Teens Healthy School – Change Club. Interested schools will be asked to participate in the research study.

*Only available to schools in the Strong Teens study. For more information, contact Ashlee Gardner (

Program Components

  • 16 modules delivered in two parts across an academic year (e.g., fall and spring)
  • 32 30-minute sessions (or 16 1-hour sessions) divided in half for each part of the year
  • Topics of sessions include physical activity, nutrition, and cardiovascular disease prevention education and activities (e.g., goal setting, self-monitoring, friendly group competitions)

Alignment with TEKS

A full summary of TEKS is included in the curriculum. Below, the TEKS are highlighted by grade level.

6th Grade: Link to 6th Grade TEKS
7th Grade: Link to 7th Grade TEKS
8th Grade: Link to 8th Grade TEKS

Additional Resources

Interested educators should connect with the Texas A&M AgriLife – Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture research team. Please contact Jacob Szeszulski at

Evidence supporting Strong Teens Healthy Schools:

  • Strong Teens Healthy Schools is adapted from an adult version of an evidence-based program. It is currently being pilot tested in 8 middle schools.