13 PHS Schools Awarded a Fall Wellness Grant


Please join us in congratulating the following schools who applied and received a Fall PHS Wellness Grant. Each of these schools were funded up to $1,000 to support their requested health and wellness initiatives designed specifically for their school community.

  • A.D. Johnston Junior/Senior High School – Pickleball Nets, Paddles, and Marking Kits
  • Negaunee Middle School – PE Equipment
  • Blesch Intermediate School – PE Equipment, First Aid Kits, Outdoor Sleds
  • Boyne City Middle School – Pickleball Nets, Paddles, and Balls
  • Aspen Ridge Middle School – Technology for Outdoor Recreation
  • Great Lakes Learning Academy – PE and Health in a Bag Virtual Learning
  • DeWitt Middle School – Blazepod Kits, Agility Hurdles
  • Munger Elementary-Middle School – Pickleball Sets
  • Almont Middle School – Corn Hole Boards and Bags, Healthy Food and Supplies for Smoothies/Tastings
  • Cherryland Middle School – Hydration Station
  • Hamady Middle School – Pickleball Nets, Paddles, Balls, and Marking Kits
  • Pierce Middle School – PE Equipment
  • Forest Park School – PE Equipment for Take Home Bag

We are thrilled to support these wellness initiatives and look forward to hearing great success as they are implemented during the school year. For those schools interested in applying for the next round, the Winter PHS Wellness Grant application will open on December 1st and close on January 31st. This grant opportunity is for PHS schools who have been with the program for at least two full academic years or longer (1st and 2nd year schools are not eligible). Congratulations again to our fall wellness grant recipients; we look forward to reviewing and approving more wellness grants in February!

8 New Middle Schools Join Building Healthy Communities

PHS and BHC Logo

The 2023-2024 school year brings 8 new schools to the Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy Schools program, a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the University of Michigan, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

Please join us in welcoming the following schools to the BHC:PHS program this school year:

  • Alcona Middle School – Harrisville, MI
  • Tri County Middle School – Howard City, MI
  • Kensington Woods Area Schools – Lakeland, MI
  • Blissfield Middle School – Blissfield, MI
  • Huron Academy – Clinton Township, MI
  • Avondale Middle School – Rochester Hills, MI
  • Glen Levey Middle School – Southfield, MI
  • Collins Elementary School – Houghton Lake, MI

We look forward to working with the identified wellness champions, administrators, school wellness teams, and all students and staff to implement the BHC:PHS program this school year in these amazing schools located across the diverse geographic location of Michigan!

PHS and BHC Logo

Free School Meals for All Michigan Students


Michigan’s 1.4 million public students will be receiving nutritious free meals at school during the 2023-2024 school year thanks to a $160 million appropriation in the state’s School Aid budget adopted by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Michigan School Meals will provide state reimbursement to schools for every breakfast and lunch served to Michigan’s public school students who receive meals through their school’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.

For every district that chooses to participate, students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 will receive one breakfast and one lunch per student, free of charge. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) encourages all eligible districts to participate and is supporting districts with successful implementation. More information can be found at the Michigan School Meals website, and questions regarding the program can be directed to mde-schoolnutrition@michigan.gov. We hope your school will take advantage of this amazing resource to help support increased access to affordable healthy foods for your students!

PHS Offers New Vaping Education Curriculum


Project Healthy Schools is proud to announce the release of their vaping education lessons. The Project Healthy Schools Vaping Education Lessons contain two 30–40 minute lessons. In lesson one, students will distinguish between the different types of tobacco use with an emphasis on e-cigarettes. They will be able to understand what is inhaled through vapes, long– and short-term effects of vaping, the benefits of remaining tobacco- and nicotine-free, and practice refusal skills to be used in their everyday life as we encourage them to abstain from tobacco use to live a healthier lifestyle. In lesson two, students identify Federal and Michigan policies/laws surrounding tobacco and vape use and how they relate to purchasing, safety, and use. They will analyze marketing strategies used by tobacco companies and compare cigarette and vaping advertisements.

With this knowledge, students will create their own anti-vaping advertisement by using similar marketing tactics. Students will read case studies and assess the situation, choosing which refusal skill could be used and research local resources for tobacco cessation in their area. With these lessons, PHS hopes to provide students with the knowledge and skills to make healthy decisions and remain tobacco and nicotine-free. The vaping lessons are posted in the PHS Portal under the Lessons tab. We hope your school will take advantage of this new teaching resource!

A visual aid showcases how e-cigarettes work in the PHS vaping education lessons.

Join Us for This Year’s PHS Wellness Champion Gathering!


The PHS Wellness Champion Gathering will be held virtually via Zoom on Friday, November 17th from 9:00am to 3:00pm ET. Attendees can choose to attend the entire day or individual sessions and teachers will have the opportunity to receive SCECHs. Eligible PHS schools who register and attend the event will be eligible for a drawing to win one of two $250 PE equipment vouchers!

We will have speakers presenting on numerous topics that will help to support the health and well-being of students, staff, and families in your school’s community. Topics for this year’s event include:

  • Nutrition Education for Teens and Young Adults: Using Food as a Superpower
  • Building and Maintaining a Successful School Wellness Team
  • Healthy Nutrition and Meal Prep for Busy Teachers and Staff
  • The Risks of Adolescent Caffeine Consumption
  • Social and Emotional Health and Well-Being

If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Melissa Boguslawski, PHS Program Manager, at mkbog (@) med.umich.edu. We look forward to seeing you there!


A Special Thanks from the Project Healthy Schools Team


As the 2022-2023 school year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for supporting our mission and work. We had an incredibly successful year supporting our network of schools across the entire state of Michigan. Thank you to each and every wellness champion for your continued leadership and passion. Thank you to our school wellness teams for your collaborative efforts in creating a healthy school wellness culture at your school and role-modeling healthy behaviors for your students and staff. For our donors and supporters, thank you for your financial support. This year we had an incredibly successful fundraising Heart Month and Giving Blueday campaign. From each member of our team, we send a collective and heartfelt THANK YOU. Please continue to check in with us on our PHS social media accounts via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok over the summer months!

Ann Arbor Food Service for Students is Now Open!


Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under or persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a State or local public educational agency. The meals will be provided without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided at the sites listed below:

Head here for more information: https://www.a2schools.org/Page/17398

Food service will be closed on July 3 and 4, 2023 for the holiday.

Hart Middle School Receives Silver Michigan School Wellness Award!


Katie Jazwinski, wellness champion at Hart Middle School, has learned how daily physical activity impacts student performance in her classroom. By highlighting how daily activity affects physical and mental health, Katie improves the emotional health of her students along with other important life skills that could make an impact on their future. Illustrating this, Katie shares the story of a student who enrolled in her Strength and Conditioning Class to get the required PE credit. One of her students had a negative outlook on PE and suffered from diminishing mental health and confidence. Through personal conversations and class surveys, Katie was able to learn about this student and form a close bond with them. Katie’s class allowed for this student and many others to learn the connection physical activity has with quality of life and witness the positive changes regular physical activity can have on a person. 

Within a week, the student changed their outlook on physical activity and the mind-body connection. Katie worked with this student to make a personalized plan with them to ensure continued physical activity. Gradually, this student started having a positive attitude in class and eventually became very eager to make it to school every day. In the beginning this student would skip class. Now, this student never skips Strength & Conditioning. Through improved physical activity, this student began to improve their nutrition as well by choosing healthier beverages and snacks. They are now one of the top powerlifters in the school and take care of both their physical health and mental health. Through physical activity and education, their entire sense of wellbeing has changed and has metamorphosized them into a happier and healthier person both inside and out. This student has even become an advocate for physical activity and healthy eating and has been encouraging friends and family to take part in healthier behaviors. Katie has watched her student’s confidence and independence rise and form a new light in their eyes.  She describes this student as a total inspiration to herself and to many other students and adults in their school.  This student is a true example of how physical activity can improve the quality of one’s life and how a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Katie describes this student as her STAR STUDENT and a true example of what a success story should be! To learn more about Katie’s health and wellness efforts at Hart Middle School, follow their Instagram: @hartpirateshealthxpe

Hart Middle School wellness team posing for photo
The Hart Middle School wellness team gathers for their after-school fitness class.

PHS Hosts Inclusive Physical Activity Day at the Big House


In celebration of ACES Day (All Children Exercising Simultaneously), Project Healthy Schools hosted a collaborative wellness event at U-M Stadium on Thursday, May 11th to promote physical activity for over 300 students from Detroit and Manchester. PHS partnered with U-M Athletics and U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness to create rotating stations that allowed students to fully participate in inclusive physical activity exercises together, showing that students of all abilities can exercise and have fun together!

The six stations included Adaptive Volleyball, Relay Race, Kick, Catch, & Throw, Stretching & Yoga, Tag, and Supermarket Relay Race that included nutrition education. To support staff wellness, a teachers’ lounge was created where healthy food and drinks were provided for all attending teachers. The teachers’ lounge food was provided by our partners at SNACK (Supporting Nutrition Education and Culinary Knowledge). To learn more about SNACK, you can visit their website at:  SNACK (a2snack.org) As students exited the stadium, they were each given a cinch sack with healthy snacks, swag, and health resources and greeted by Thera Paws dogs to support their emotional well-being. Snacks and swag were provided by our sponsors at Meijer, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), and the Michigan Apple Committee. The event was a huge success and we look forward to collaborating more with U-M Athletics and U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness in the future!

For more information about our sponsors from ACES Day, please visit the following websites:

Students from Detroit gather to participate in our inclusive physical activity day at U-M Stadium.

Our Request for Applicants (RFA) is Open Until June 30th!

Do you know a Michigan middle school that would be a great fit for Project Healthy Schools? Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy Schools (BHC:PHS) is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Applications are due by Friday, June 30th. BHC:PHS recently held a webinar for all interested schools, if you missed it, you can view the recording here: https://youtu.be/wREgy0eSvmY.

To review the program RFA and to apply, please visit our application page at: Apply Now – Project Healthy Schools.