Promoting Healthy Alternative Schools and Community Partnerships Initiative
AVAIL reported increases in graduation rates, attendance rates, and number of credits obtained by its students. Highlights of the Alternative School Initiative sponsored activities included the implementation of Stop That (smoking cessation program), providing innovative classes with an emphasis on improving interpersonal communication/relationship skills and healthy lifestyles, delivering a diverse collection of school-wide activities to its students, most of which promoted physical activity as well as receiving professional development via attendance at the National Alternative School Conference. In the 2011-2012 school year, AVAIL instituted a broad array of healthy recreational activities introducing students to new activities, and engaged students in larger scale activities like swimming, skiing, and hiking every Friday. An average of 60 students participated in 2-3 activities weekly, and began self-reporting continuing these healthy activities over the weekends. AVAIL also provided mental health services specifically supported by this grant, conducted a Food Science class, and completed instruction of the Fourth R Healthy Relationships curriculum. AVAIL indicated a significant increase in student interest and involvement in health issues, diet and exercise, and participation in community events.