Healthi Kids

Getting active

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Unfortunately, only half of America's young people reach that mark. Healthi Kids aims to address this gap. The initiative works with parents, students, teachers and community members to advocate for physical activity and unstructured play through daily school recess, more inviting play spaces in neighborhoods and safer walking routes to schools. Responding to the campaign's advocacy efforts, the Rochester City School District adopted a mandatory daily recess policy and banned the withholding of recess as punishment. Find out more at:

Better nutrition

  Fruits and vegetables

The first step to ensuring good nutrition for children is to make healthy food the default choice. Healthi Kids works to improve meals and snack offerings in schools, increase participation in the Summer Food Service program and expand the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in corner stores. The initiative also encourages breastfeeding, which research has shown lowers children's risk of becoming obese later in life.

Take action

Ways to build a culture of health for our area's children:

  • Ask for guidelines for nutritious food and beverages at school events
  • Encourage walking or biking to school
  • Lead a "Walking School Bus" and invite nearby families to walk with you
  • Switch to fundraisers that sell non-junk food items
  • Volunteer to supervise playground and recess activities
  • Petition your town or city for bike lanes
  • Join Healthi Kids on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Initiatives - HealthiKids - Articles Featured

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    Summit to advance active transportation

    April 22, 2019

    The Active Transportation Summit, Ideas in Motion, on May 23 is a convening of professionals and activists from multiple sectors to advance transportation and recreation opportunites across the Finger Lakes region.

Initiatives - HealthiKids - Articles

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    New video features play campaign successes

    February 26, 2019

    Healthi Kids has created a new video showcasing PlayROCs’ play days, advocacy and neighborhood transformations. The Common Ground Health initiative hopes to galvanize supporters to spread the play movement throughout - and beyond - Rochester.

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    Campaign aims to make streets safer for walkers and bikers

    October 04, 2018

    Sixteen local groups, ranging from health organizations to government to cycling nonprofits, have banded together to launch a new community campaign aimed at reducing the number of crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists. Called Drive 2B Better, the campaign asks drivers to slow down, scan and space their vehicles three feet from bicycles every time they’re behind the wheel.

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    Neighborhood intersection gets an extreme makeover

    September 11, 2018

    Parsells Avenue and Greeley Street were transformed Sept. 8 as part of the Complete Streets Makeover project, a creative way to test street enhancements that could make neighborhoods roads more welcoming for non-vehicular traffic. 

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    Bike share could improve public health, study finds

    June 19, 2018

    Rochester's bike share program holds tremendous potential for supporting more active, healthier lives for residents, shows a new Health Impact Assessment (HIA) from Common Ground Health and the Genesee Transportation Council.

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    Communities gather to create safe play spaces for “Play Streets”

    August 29, 2017

    Children and families from two tightly-knit Rochester neighborhoods gathered to host Play Streets, a pilot event introduced this year by the Healthi Kids Coalition through their PlayROCs campaign. Play Streets gives kids the opportunity to safely play, beautify their neighborhoods, and participate in new activities. 

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    Neighborhood unveils "Story Walk" at library

    June 01, 2017

    Children, families and neighbors gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Phillis Wheatley Community Library's vibrant "Story Walk," which is part of the Healthi Kids Coalition's "Play ROCs" campaign. The Story Walk is an interactive play space that celebrates play, literacy, and local history.

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    Play champions urged City Council to put kids first by building a playable city

    November 22, 2016

    Advocates for play urged Rochester’s City Council to put kids first in the city’s comprehensive plan update to ensure Rochester is the best city to live, work and play. The advocacy effort was led by the Healthi Kids Coalition, an initiative of Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, as part of the PlayROCs campaign.

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    Rochester receives Playful City USA designation

    May 20, 2016

    For the first time, Rochester is being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation. The national recognition, given by KABOOM, honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.