The L.A Trust: Redefining the Nutritional Landscape of Schools!
                     MARCH 2016
Produce Stand HHS 5-28-14
  Fresh produce being served as part of HEAL campaign. Photo credit: The L.A.      Trust

The L.A. Trust: Redefining the Nutritional Landscape of Schools!

Dear Friends,
March is National Nutrition Month. Merriam-Webster defines nutrition as the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repair. Or as my friend Chef E puts it, "food is life." Here's what I know: access to HEALTHY food is everything! 
For much of our LAUSD clientele, that access is hard to come by. Last year the students of Manual Arts High School mapped the food/restaurant options they have local access to compared to students 13 miles away in the Pacific Pallisdes. I don’t have to tell you the results are as different as night and day.  While systemic change across a city the size of Los Angeles takes time, changing the climate of a school campus is possible. Not easy, mind you, but possible!
The reason I know its possible, is because we are doing it. Supported by our partner Kaiser Permanente over the past three years at Hollywood High School (HHS), we helped facilitate a dramatic shift on the campus through their Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) program. In relatively short order, (props, Deborah Ebrahemi!) with crucial buy-in from HHS principal, Ms. Alejandra Sanchez, that storied LAUSD campus has a new story to tell. Healthy food choices are now exclusively served in the cafeteria, chocolate and candy have been replaced as “fundraisers of choice" by hikes and dances, the campus weight room (thriving!) is now open during lunch, a new campus garden was planted this Fall, students have taken the “Don’t Get Caught Red-Handed” anti-Hot Cheeto pledge, and after-school student clubs (sponsored by our outstanding partners through Beyond the Bell, which promote healthy lifestyles) have seen major impact!  All of this progress is crowned by at-the-ready access to health care through the Wellness Center on campus, opened in 2012, operated by LAUSD Medical staff, Kaiser Permanente Adolescent Health Fellows, Planned Parenthood L.A., and Aviva Family and Child Services. Through these organizations the medical and mental health needs of Hollywood High students can be attended to before, during and after school. 
This wrap-around model of environmental change has been so successful we are now rolling it out to a handful of other sites across the Wellness Network — Fremont, Jefferson, Crenshaw, and Washington Prep High Schools among them.
We know certain foods heal. Turmeric reduces inflammation. A nutrient in cranberry juice bolsters kidney health. And homemade chicken soup has magical properties that defy all manner of scientific research known to man and woman.
Conversely, we know a steady diet of “convenience” and "fast food" wreaks havoc on developing bodies and minds, setting up a disastrous domino effect that has far reaching social, political, and economic consequences. Imagine that this is all you have access to. 
The good news is this: The L.A. Trust is on the case. We’ve been advocating consistently for this type of promising change on LAUSD campuses. We understand that this is a health justice issue, and are fully committed to partnering with organizations that seek to bring fresh, nutrient-rich foods and access to clean drinking water to LAUSD school campuses so that every single kid in L.A. has a fair shot at a promising future. 

Student Health = Student Success,
MJ Signature

Maryjane Puffer, BSN, MPA
Executive Director
The L.A. Trust for Children's Health


Trust Goes Deeper on Substance Abuse Prevention

The L.A. Trust is pleased to be awarded a grant from the California Community Foundation, in partnership with Children's Hospital Los Angeles, to work on substance abuse prevention at four wellness center campuses: Fremont, Jefferson, Manual Arts, and Washington Prep.  The project will focus on integration of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to address the substance abuse prevention and treatment needs of adolescents.  We will also provide training and support to ensure that SBIRT screening is part of routine medical care at wellness centers.

LAUSD 5K Races to Dodger Stadium on Saturday, April 23!

Come out and join The L.A. Trust staff, along with thousands of LAUSD students, family members, employees, and community members for LAUSD's 3rd Annual 5K "Move It!" Challenge! The event promises to be a ton of fun with:

  • 5k and 1k Courses
  • Health and Nutrition Workshops and Booths
  • Interactive Kids Zone 
  • Dance/Aerobic Classes
  • Live Entertainment
  • Food Trucks
  • Raffles and Giveaways
  • 2015-2016 Celebrity Appearances
  • Free Stadium Parking

Click here to register and/or get more info on the event!

Some of The L.A. Trust staff with retired L.A. Laker A.C. Green at last year's event.

STD Awareness Poster

STD Awareness Poster Contest Winners Announced

Last fall, The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health partnered with the California Family Health Council to bring "Super Empowered: The Fall 2015 STD Poster Contest" to LAUSD.  We received a wide array of posters featuring a range of cartoon crime fighters with comic book “KABOOM”s, to hero-like providers who educate and empower sexually active teens on the importance of getting tested regularly.
Winners were selected by a committee of health care professionals who focused on creativity, effectiveness of messaging, and versatility of the poster to communicate this message is various settings. In the end we emerged with three middle school and three high school winners who we felt best communicated the goals of the competition. Winners from both age groups received $300, $200, and $100 respectively!
To view the other 5 winning posters and read more details about the contest, click here.

The L.A. Trust wishes to thank everyone who participated in making this poster contest such a successful event!
Winning entry from student artist, Mey Sok, from Belmont H.S.

Beloved Board Member of The L.A. Trust Celebrated by LAUSD Board

Scott Folsom, who has served on The L.A. Trust Board of Directors since 2011 was honored at the March 8 LAUSD School Board meeting by President Steve Zimmer with the first-ever "Board President's Service Award." The longest serving member of the Bond Oversight Committee, legendary PTA rep, and tireless advocate for LAUSD's kids, Scott received the award for his work on behalf of families and students. The L.A. Trust is proud, and continually uplifted by his service. Click here to read Barbara Jone's excellent piece about the recent presention to Scott. 


Scott Folsom, dedicated advocate for the children of Los Angeles and Board member of The L.A. Trust points to one of his very favorite non-profits 



Note from the State Association

Support A Fee on Sugary Drinks to Combat Diabetes
The California School-Based Health Alliance and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California are co-sponsoring AB 2782 (Bloom) that would fund programs to combat the rising diabetes and obesity rates in California communities. The bill would generate approximately $3 billion a year by creating a two-cent per ounce fee on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. Sixty percent of the funds would go to communities most impacted by diabetes.

The revenue from the fee would support community and school-based prevention programs for obesity, diabetes, and dental disease prevention and treatment activities. We are proud to join our co-sponsors the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California to support Assemblymember Bloom in fighting the obesity and diabetes epidemics in our communities.

You can help by sending a letter of support to and
Michel'le Bailey, (front row left) is a senior at Crenshaw High School, and a proud member of the The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board. Behind her, clockwise:  Ms. Sharon Dean, LAUSD Healthy Start Coordinator mentioned in Michel'le's comments, Cleavon Bronner, student at Crenshaw High School,  LAUSD Central Organization Facilitator, Bonnie Mims-Greene, and Adriana Douglas (another Senior at Crenshaw and YAB member!) Photo: The L.A. Trust  

Meet Our Youth Advisory Board: 

Michel'le Bailey

(Senior at Crenshaw High School)

Why did you join The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board?
I joined The L.A. Trust because of what Ms. Dean (Healthy Start Coordinator, Sharon Dean) said about it. It sounded like a great opportunity and since I love helping people and I love spreading useful and important information, I figured that I'd be perfect for the committee. I would have never imagined that it would be so much better than I expected. 

What are the changes you hope to make at your school?

I hope that on my campus I'm able to show my peers that it's okay to seek help especially when it comes to their health. Our lives and voices should be taken very seriously and most of my peers fear that they have no one on their side. I hope that by the time I graduate, I have a significant amount of students who can say that they've been to the Wellness Center, and that the Wellness Center has helped them, and that I was apart of that. And I hope that it shows that I'm doing my part as a citizen in my community.
What activities are you looking forward to this school year?
I'm looking forward to participating in events that'll help me understand myself better and get a keen sight of what my future career goals are, because I know that I have personally changed and grown since being a part of both Crenshaw High and The L.A. Trust.
What are your plans after high school? After high school I most definitely want to attend a University of my choice. My top 2 being UCLA or UC Berkeley, just because I know that they have really great art and health programs. I'm not too sure of which field I want to major in as a career choice, but I also understand that with both I will be able to implement positive change within others  and my city because of my work.That just makes it all the better!

To learn more about The L.A. Trust, visit our website here!
Contact us here.
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