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Culture of Wellness in Preschools

Project Overview

The Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP) is a comprehensive and collaborative early childhood obesity program, which aims to promote a “culture of wellness” in preschool settings by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity levels. This is accomplished by bringing the following to preschool sites throughout Colorado: 

  • ​Classroom-based nutrition education
  • Preschool physical activity professional development program
  • Parent wellness workshop series
  • Staff workplace wellness program 
  • Strategic planning process to make center environment and policy changes that focus on increasing healthy eating and physical activity levels  

All program components are evidence-based or promising practices. 

From its inception, COWP has reached 15,000 students, parents and teachers, 150 low-income preschools and early childhood education centers, and 11 Colorado counties. 

For more information, please visit our website at

Activities and programs are provided in three settings:


  • Nutrition curriculum
  • Activity curriculum / programs


  • Parent nutrition classes
  • Parent nutrition newsletter
  • BMI assessment + Heartprint


  • Built environment / policy change
  • Staff motivational interviewing training
  • Site health promoters
  • Staff nutrition classes
  • Staff worksite wellness
  • Nutrition & activity educational bins

Distinctive features of the program include:
  • Expanding and coordinating evidence-based or promising nutrition education, physical activity or policy/environmental change interventions.
  • Taking a socio-ecological perspective and implementing a multi-level intervention that combines behavioral and environmental components.
  • Focusing on sustainability via capacity-building (e.g., implementing the train the trainer model, so that Head Start parents and staff can become Health Promoters/Promotores de Salud).
  • A community-academic partnership, whereby the academic partners can bring the latest evidence-based practices to the community and the community partners can bring experiential knowledge about the Head Start culture, policies and procedures, and about the population that Head Start serves.

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


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