Two Proven Programs

The goal of our programs is to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity.  We do this through innovative programs that focus on developing healthy habits and helping kids take personal responsibility for changing their habits, no matter their circumstances.  

Our programs are evidence-based and proven to help kids and families build healthy habits for life. Both of our programs are founded on our core Healthy Life Habits.

The Lifestar ChallengeTM Program

The LifeStar Challenge program is available to schools and youth-serving organizations everywhere.  It’s lessons can easily be integrated into the schools curriculums for Physical Education, Health, STEM and Science or in Before and After-school programs.  

Additionally its lessons can fit in nicely as the healthy living component of any other youth serving program, faith based organization or camp.

The goal tracking stars help kids stay motivated and keep them on track to
complete the program

The Together CountsTM Program

Together Counts is a nationwide program inspiring active and healthy living by providing free resources for parents, schools, and the entire community.

Together Counts provides free resources for schools, families and communities that promote the creation of healthy habits. The content is aligned to the 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, WIC, SNAP-Ed, EFNEP, Head Start, CACFP, UN FAO, WHO dietary guidelines and national education standards.

At Home
Provides resources for Pre-K and Grades K-5 including free downloadable lessons.
  • Every Part Counts teaches students about physical, social and emotional wellness. They discover how decision making and goal setting can help maintain balance in their lives.
  • Every Bite Counts introduces the key elements of healthy eating patterns. Students learn about the different food groups and the importance of getting a balance of them every day.
  • Every Move Counts encourages students to learn about the importance of physical activity to their overall wellness. They develop action plans and learn how to overcome common obstacles to being active daily.
    At School
    Provides free downloadable resources for families focusing on overall wellness, teaching kids to make healthy decisions that foster healthy habits throughout their lives.
    The Enrichment Zone – Resources divided into 3 modules with activities for each. Can be used as a full program (45-minute sessions) for camps, clubs, meetings and after school programs as well as at home.
    • Learn Together –decision-making and goal setting activities
    • Eat Together – food and nutrition-related activities
    • Play Together – physical activities
      All Parts Count – Grades K-2 – Provides families with an overall healthy guide, with healthy family games and activities.
      All Parts Count – Grades 3-5 - Provides families with an overall healthy guide, with healthy family games and activities.
      To learn more about theTogether Counts program and resources available click here.

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      State Program Profiles

      Arizona Program
      In 2003 Healthy LifeStars began its fight against childhood obesity in Arizona by developing the Greater Phoenix area as its first LifeStar Community.
      Arizona Program Partners Include:
      • Valley YMCA
      • Elevate Phoenix
      • Maricopa Schools
      • Cesar Chavez Foundation
      • Boys and Girls MLB
      • Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale Charros
      • Boys and Girls Club of Queen Creek
      • Boys and Girls Club Colangelo
      • Hirsch Academy
      • Saddleback Elementary
      • Western Elementary
      • W. T. Machan
      Healthy LifeStars National Board of Directors
      Currently the national board serves as the Arizona Advisory Board
      • Ruann Ernst, Chair
      • Jeff Sisson, Co-Chair
      • O. Kim Goheen, Treasurer
      • Cindi Englefield, Business Woman & Community Leader
      • Deb Kelly, Managing Partner- Genesis
      • Kurt Miller, Independent Consultant
      • Jerre Stead, Business & Community Leader
      • Mary Joy Stead, Business & Community Leader
      Colorado Program
      We launched the Colorado LifeStar Community in 2010 with Program Partner, Scholars Unlimited (formerly Summer Scholars) and Denver Parks & Recreation. . Through the amazing generosity of Colorado corporations and individuals with both time and financial support, we are working to continue to grow the program in Denver and expand to other communities in Colorado.
      Colorado Program Partners include:
      • Denver Parks and Recreation
      • Foothills Parks and Recreation
      • YMCA of Aurora
      • Trips for Kids Denver (donating bikes and bike education programs to our kids)
      • Zumba for Kids (offering Zumba for Kids sessions)
      Colorado Advisory Board
      • Deb Kelly, Chair, Managing Partner, Genesis Inc
      • Julie Tschida Brown, Chief People and Culture Officer, Zayo
      • Rachael George, Communications Consultant, RBG Communications
      • Guy Gunther, Century Link, Consumer Fiber Markets Operations Lead
      • Janet Johnson, Executive Creative Director, Partner, Genesis Inc
      • Holly Parker, Retired, Former Executive Director, Amstar Group, LLC
      • Nadine Van Orsdel, Retired
      • Jeff Sisson, Retired, Former VP and Chief of Staff, IHS Markit
      • Tami Anderson, Colorado Chapter Director
      Iowa Program
      In July 2018 Healthy LifeStars and the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy at theUniversity of Iowa College of Public Health partnered to implement the Healthy LifeStars program in Iowa. The program operates in before, during or after school settings programs throughout Iowa. For sites in the Iowa City area, the program utilizes University of Iowa student coaches.
      Iowa Program Partners Includes:
      • Iowa City Compassion
      • Lucas Elementary Off Campus
      • Hills Elementary
      • Kaleidoscope Kids, West Union
      • Shimek Elementary
      • Central Cares After School
      • Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County
      • Mann-Bedell Family YMCA Spirit Lake and Okoboji
      • Horace-Mann Elementary
      • Irving Elementary
      • Waukee YMCA
      • Helping Services of NE Iowa
      • Monroe County Public Health
      Iowa Advisory Board
      • Mary Joy Stead, Founder and Generous Donor
      • Jerre Stead, Founder and Generous Donor
      • Edith Parker, Dean College of Public Health, University of Iowa
      • Sue Curry, Special Assistant to the President and Dean Emeritus, College of PublicHealth, University of Iowa
      • Vickie Miene, Iowa Chapter Director
      Student Advisory Council
      The Student Advisory Council is comprised of University of Iowa students that are passionate about inspiring kids to live active and healthy lives. All students are welcome to participate if available on a regular basis, but generally students enrolled in public health, medicine, or wellness majors are most interested in this council.
      The Student Advisory Council supports Healthy LifeStars by:
      • Being ambassadors of the Healthy LifeStars program
      • Though not required, many council members are also HLS coaches to several elementary schools in the area, teaching the program concepts of I Eat Right! I am Active! and I Can Do It!
      • Offering innovative ideas for outreach, engagement and celebration milestones
      • Provides input into the development of various student learning experiences Links the HLS program to various student groups to create awareness about the program and encourage participation.
      • Participate in the HLS StepAThon event; a multi-state fundraiser that encourages healthy activity while raising awareness and funds, which provides the Healthy LifeStars program to even more kids!
        Ohio Program
        In February 2017 Healthy LifeStars and The Office of the Chief Wellness Officer partnered to launch the Healthy LifeStars program in Ohio. Faculty, staff and students from The College of Nursing and other Colleges help implement programs in the Central Ohio area with the goal of growing throughout the state of Ohio.
        Ohio Program Partners Includes:
        • Ohio State University College of Nursing
        • Ohio Hispanic Coalition
        • East Franklin Elementary School
        • Fairfield Elementary School
        • Madison Elementary School
        • Prairie Norton Elementary School
        • Richard Avenue Elementary School
        • Hawthorne Elementary School
          Ohio Advisory Board
          • Ruann Ernst, Founder of Healthy LifeStars
          • Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Dean and Chief Wellness Officer, OSU
          • Cindi Englefield, Chair
          • Jeanie Bochenek, Co-Chair and Chapter Director
          • Eileen Bertolini, Retired CFO, Advancement OSU
          • Kelly King, Program Manager
          • Ellie Joyce, Student Advisor
          • Melanie Russell, Student Advisor

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