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Creating Healthy Schools & Communities

Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC), funded by the NYS Department of Health, is a five year grant effort utilizing a coordinated, multi-sector approach to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease in high-need communities and school districts. 

CCESC will reach out to local schools, worksites, and community based organizations in the Fallsburg, Liberty, and Monticello school district catchment areas which also include the towns of Mamakating, Thompson, Bethel, and Forestburgh. Smarter Lunchrooms, Complete Streets community planning efforts, and adopting policies that are conducive to wellness are among several strategies that four new CCESC educators will be charged with working on over the next five years. These additions to the growing staff will assist with combating obesity and other chronic diseases in these high need school districts and their surrounding communities.

CCESC will work directly with the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Services, schools, food retailers, and local employers to improve access to nutritious foods as well as increase opportunities for daily physical activity.

“Poor nutrition and physical inactivity are the major risk factors contributing to Sullivan County’s poor health outcomes,” said Colleen Monaghan, CCESC Executive Director.

“This multi-faceted project will help communities organize in a way that makes it easier for people to access and make healthier choices.”

The Creating Healthy Schools and Communities project at CCESC comes as a welcome addition to the Eat Smart New York (ESNY) program, which re-started just last week after a one year hiatus due to changes to the funding at the state level. Combined, the two projects will host five professional CCE educators who provide science-backed information to the public, assist employers in creating an environment that promotes wellness for its employees, and provides municipalities with tools and resources to get healthy foods and opportunities to move in front of people.


These efforts will complement wellness activities happening throughout the county, including individual school district projects, the Rural Health Network, the Farm to School Committee with Public Health Services and Sullivan Renaissance, the expansion of Farmers’ Markets, Catskill Edible Garden Projects, and the development of SUNY Sullivan’s Healthy World Institute. While change takes time, these combined efforts are laying the foundation for a healthier Sullivan County.

Last updated April 5, 2017