UCANR Strategic Initiatives
University of California
UCANR Strategic Initiatives

Healthy Families and Communities

HFC
The Healthy Families & Communities initiative is dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles, science literacy, and positive youth development in local communities. The initiative works in the following key areas: 

  • Promoting healthy behaviors for childhood obesity prevention.
  • Encouraging and enhancing youth science literacy.
  • Promoting positive youth development.
  • Community Development.    

Emerging issues include:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Safe drinking Water - Outdated infrastructure and unreliable water supply
  • K-12 Education: Low, unstable funding and poor student performance
  • Public safety

The HFC SI helps build our state economy, building the capacity and health of our people and communities.

Our Strategic Initiatives help unify, communicate and advocate for the work we do.

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Detail on Key Areas

  • Promoting healthy behaviors for childhood obesity prevention - The current generation of UC children may be the first to have shorter life spans than their parents. Nearly one-third of California's school children are classified as overweight/obese. Campus-based researchers on UC Berkeley and UC Davis campuses have joined with county-based advisors to investigate and evaluate a range of childhood obesity issues, in a variety of settings including childcare, school, after-school, community, worksite, and health care venues.
  • Encouraging and enhancing youth science literacy - Science achievement in the United States among K-12 youth has lagged behind many of their grade level peers from other countries for many years, prompting much concern, and putting nation’s economic and national security at risk. K-12 students who score below basic levels will lack the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for scientific careers and full participation in today’s knowledge society. Nonformal education strategies and approaches, for which ANR is recognized, especially the 4-H Youth Development Program and its 4-H SET Initiative, provide innovative out-of-school models, curricula, deliveries, and professional development for effectively engaging youth in self-directed learning and discovery.
  • Promoting positive youth development - We know that far too many California youth currently fail to reach their full potential. Each year, approximately 80,000 California youth do not graduate high school and approximately one of every six 16-24 year olds in the state is out of school and out of work. Cooperative Extension’s county-based 4-H YD programs across the state are at the cutting edge of positive youth development knowledge and practice. They serve large numbers of youth, helping prepare them for college, work, and life.
  • Community Development - Over the past three decades, public and private organizations throughout the state have fostered the creation of cross-sectoral food policy councils in order to address inadequacies and gaps in food policy and planning. Currently, food and food policies are shaped by a disparate array of government departments and agencies with little if any coordination or recognition of the linkages between food-related sectors. Too often the resulting policies seek to solve specific food-related problems in narrow, conflicting, and ineffective ways (Fox 2010). ANR will determine the current and potential future effectiveness of California food policy councils (FPCs) in leveraging agricultural, food and nutrition research to food policy; and second, to cultivate a dialog between researchers and food policy councils to improve the ways in which research and policy are informed by one another.    

Download an executive summary of the Healthy Families & Communities Strategic Plan

Download the complete HFC Strategic Plan Update 12 _12_ 2016

Webmaster Email: mozbell@ucanr.edu