The Active Schools Acceleration Project

The Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) is an initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization at Tufts University committed to facilitating cross-sector collaboration in order to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation’s time. ASAP seeks to increase quality physical activity in schools as a means to promote healthy, active living and to evoke the beneficial behavioral and academic outcomes that follow.

In pursuit of this mission, the initiative will unfold in four phases:

  1. Identifying Innovation
  2. Replicating Best Practices in Diverse Environments
  3. Scaling Up Nationally
  4. Achieving Long-Term Sustainability

To identify the most effective approaches to school-time physical activity, ASAP will scour the landscape for innovation on all fronts, from grassroots programs to established national movements to the latest developments in leading-edge technology.

A principal tool for innovation discovery is a national innovation competition, funded by a consortium of the nation’s leading health plans.  The innovation competition is comprised of two categories which solicit entries from distinct audiences to unearth the very best strategies for increasing physical activity.

  1. School Programs – this category will uncover effective, on-the-ground physical activity programs currently in motion in schools across the country.
  2. Technology Innovation – this category will call for proposals for commercially viable technologies, or applications of existing technologies, with excellent promise to motivate quality physical activity at school and beyond.

Coupled with outreach to peer organizations to understand the efficacy of well-established, nationally-deployed programs, these activities will generate a portfolio of best-practice approaches that are evidence-based and scalable.  Winning programs identified via the innovation competition, along with one to three other identified successes, will be refined and replicated in diverse communities across the country.

The goal is to magnify – in viability and reach – the very best approaches to school-time physical activity until they achieve a critical tipping point and are endorsed as opportune for long-term public funding.  This approach influences policy change from the bottom-up; a handful of thoroughly-vetted programs are scaled in different geographies with different populations to produce results that mandate public investment and sustainability.

The ASAP Innovation Competition is made possible by generous support from the following health plans:

Blue Shield of California
CIGNA Foundation
HealthPartners, Inc.
Humana Inc.
Kaiser Permanente
Tufts Health Plan
The Regence Group
Wellpoint Foundation
Health Alliance Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Foundation
Horizon BCBS of NJ
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina