Strengthening School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs)

February 21, 2023

Members of six El Paso school districts participated in an interactive workshop supported by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to strengthen School Health Advisory Councils (SHAC). SHACs assist the school districts in ensuring that local community values are reflected in health education instruction. Additionally, SHACs play a significant role in strengthening the connection between health and learning. They help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the knowledge and skills children need to stay healthy. The Health Foundation invests in SHACs because of their potential to influence health and wellness in schools.

Facilitators, Michelle Smith, Senior Field Manager at Action for Healthy Kids, and Alice Kirk, Child Health Specialist, Texas A&M University-Texas AgriLife Extension, conducted a variety of interactive activities to identify the purpose of SHAC’s, how to build a successful SHAC, and establishing priorities to create change to improve students’ health.

Parents, community organizations and school district staff make up SHAC committees and are state mandated to discuss health policy and suggest their ideas to school board districts.

If parents have concerns about health-related practices in their children’s school, SHAC is the best place to advocate for change.

To learn more about SHAC and their advocacy for student health visit:

PDNHF Priority Area: Healthy Living

To support efforts that promote positive behaviors to prevent disease including healthy eating, physical activity, smoking/vaping prevention, and positive opportunities for youth.

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Healthy Living

PDNHF Initiative: Healthy Eating

A high-quality diet with appropriate daily caloric intake provides essential nutrients, helps people maintain a healthy weight, and decreases their risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Evidence associates healthy eating with better health outcomes; however, many people do not consume the daily recommended levels of nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, that make up a healthy diet. The Health Foundation’s focus in the Healthy Eating initiative is educational programs, such as nutrition and cooking classes, that influence behavior in selecting, preparing, cooking, and eating healthy foods and policy and promotion activities that encourage healthy eating.

View Strategy Brief (English)

View Strategy Brief (Español)

Foundation Staff: Jana Renner

Healthy Eating

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