In celebration of Healthy Weight Commitment’s five-year anniversary, we’re spotlighting a few of the partners who joined forces with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in an effort to reduce the childhood obesity. These partners helped us achieve a 6.4 trillion reduction in calories from the marketplace, supported families in achieving energy balance, and reached nearly 15 million students with our Energy Balance 101 curriculum. Learn more about Discovery Education’s contributions in the Q&A and video below with Mary Rollins, SVP, Corporate Education Partnerships.
Tell us about yourself and Discovery Education
As the senior vice president of corporate education partnerships at Discovery Education, I oversee the implementation of a diverse group of educational partnership programs. The Together CountsTM program from the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is one of our premier programs.
For more than ten years, Discovery Education has transformed classrooms, bringing the most cutting-edge digital content and technology to K-12 students across the country. In addition to our educational content, we engage students across the U.S. with our programs by providing interactive content, contests and sweepstakes that motivate and inspire students’ quests for learning, while also engaging parents, educators and other members of the community.
How did you first get involved with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation?
Childhood obesity has always been an important cause I wanted to get involved with. Through our corporate education partnership programs, Discovery Education is thrilled to be able to provide schools with resources that empower students to make informed choices to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The opportunity to partner with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and its coalition was the perfect way for us to make a difference and get involved in this issue that affects so many children today.
Why is this partnership so unique?
Our Together Counts partnership is a first-of-its kind coalition that joins more than 250 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, trade associations, non-governmental organizations and professional sports organizations to inspire active and healthy living. Discovery Education and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation not only raise awareness about childhood obesity and the need for a balanced lifestyle, but also provide solutions for change. The Energy Balance curriculum created for Pre-K to fifth grade students is available online free of cost, and provides educators and families with the tools they need to inspire active, healthy lifestyles.
Through the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes, we provide two grand prize winners with new playground equipment and runner-up contestants with prize money to go toward their schools’ wellness programs. Raising awareness about childhood obesity and also providing students with educational material and fitness programs make Together Counts a robust program, giving students a complete understanding of what it means to live a balanced lifestyle.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments over the last five years?
The Together Counts program has engaged approximately 15 million Pre-K to fifth grade students across the country via its Energy Balance curriculum. Discovery Education is thrilled to provide underserved schools and communities with the resources they need to learn how to live healthier lives. In addition to providing classroom resources and incentive programs, we are also very proud of how students share these messages with their families at home, which further reinforces and spreads the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
How do you see your organization playing a role in the mission to reduce childhood obesity in the future?
Discovery Education will continue to provide students with our resources to educate, motivate and inspire active lifestyles. As we move forward, we hope to broaden our impact with the U.S. – Hispanic population, and continue to find underserved communities to make their schools healthier, more active environments for students to thrive in.