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LEAP Awards Program FAQs


What is LEAP? 

LEAP – Leaders in Eating and Activity Practices – is an awards program developed by Nutrition Policy Institute to recognize sites annually for their achievements in meeting best practices for healthy eating and physical activity. Awards will be determined by practices measured on LEARN-setting SLAQs (Site-Level Assessment Questionnaires).

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What sites are eligible for LEAP? 

All schools, out-of-school-time programs, and early care and education sites that partner with their local health department’s CalFresh Healthy Living program will be eligible for an award each year that they complete and submit a SLAQ. Because this award will be given annually, it will provide an opportunity for sites to not only earn recognition, but to see progress as they strengthen and expand health promotion efforts. 

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In which settings can sites earn LEAP Awards? 

Sites that complete SLAQs can earn LEAP Awards in three settings: 

  • K-12 Schools (elementary or secondary) 
  • Early Care and Education 
  • Out-of-School Time (i.e., before and after school programs) 

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Will LEAP Awards be offered for other settings? 

At this time, there are no plans to expand LEAP Awards into other settings. This is because the awards criteria are linked to the LEARN-setting SLAQs, which are only available for limited settings. 

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What are the LEAP Award criteria? 

There are two kinds of LEAP Awards that sites can earn: tiered awards and badges. 

Tiered LEAP Awards recognize comprehensive accomplishment of best practices across the different areas measured on the SLAQ in three tiers (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). Bronze level awards are earned by achieving a score of 70% or higher on four “core” sections of the SLAQ, with additional sections meeting the 70% benchmark qualifying sites for Silver or Gold status. The higher the tier level awarded, the more comprehensive the health promotion program at the site. 

Badges can be earned by achieving a score of 70% in any of four specific health promotion areas: nutrition, physical activity, gardens, and breastfeeding support (early care and education sites only). 

Detailed award criteria can be found in our LEAP Program Overview. 

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How can Local Health Departments support their partners in achieving a LEAP Award? 

We encourage Local Health Departments and their partner sites to collaboratively review SLAQ results and create an action plan. To help with this, NPI has shared SLAQ action plan templates. When reviewing results and creating an action plan, you can identify opportunities to implement programming that will achieve award criteria.

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Do we need to apply for LEAP? 

No! To be considered for a LEAP Award, sites only need to complete and submit a SLAQ.

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What is the timeline for submitting SLAQs and receiving awards? 

Sites will be considered for LEAP Awards when SLAQs have been submitted by the annual deadline (currently November 1). Awards are announced annually in December. 

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How do sites learn of their awards? 

Nutrition Policy Institute will share a list of award winners with Local Health Departments. Each Local Health Department will communicate awards with their site partners. NPI also plans to announce awards on social media via X (formerly Twitter), so that Local Health Departments and sites can share their successes. Follow @UCnpi now to receive announcements!

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What will sites receive as part of their award? 

The LEAP Award consists of a digital promotion package that includes: 

  • Graphics that can be used in email signatures, on websites or social media, or on printed materials 
  • A digital certificate that can be printed and displayed at your site 
  • Social media and newsletter templates to help you promote your success

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What are some examples of how sites can use their awards? 

Sites may find LEAP Awards helpful in publicizing their successful health promotion programs within their communities, and the LEAP digital promotion package was designed with this in mind. Additionally, LEAP Awards may help with leveraging new sources of funding for health promotion programs at participating sites. 

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Where can I learn more about LEAP? 

Learn more about the program on our LEAP page.

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