Mental Health Grant Awarded to Iowa 4-H SWITCH, a Collaborative School Wellness Initiative

SWITCH, which means School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health, is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development and an interdisciplinary research team at Iowa State to support school wellness programming in schools across Iowa.

“SWITCH is a great way to incorporate 21st-century health literacy skills, enhance school culture and academic outcomes while improving overall wellness for students and staff,” said Sally Shaver DuBois, SWITCH coordinator and Iowa 4-H school wellness specialist.

SWITCH is enrolling now

SWITCH is now enrolling for the 2023-24 school year. Programming costs for SWITCH are provided through sponsors and grant funding. In addition, supplies and resource kits are provided to implement various curriculum and activity options, Shaver DuBois explained.

Enrolling in SWITCH unlocks access to a web-based platform that allows schools and students to track progress over time, a network of 4-H leaders who assist in supporting school implementation and wellness programming, and resources and training needed to plan and sustain school wellness programming in a way that works best for schools and their local system.

For more information on how a school can get involved with SWITCH or to register a school for the 2023-24 school year, visit the SWITCH website at or email Once a school enrolls, they will have the opportunity to send a small team of staff to the SWITCH School Wellness Conference on the Iowa State University campus on Monday, Oct. 2.

In addition, SWITCH provides supplementary learning experiences for youth to support the do, view and chew themes, including social-emotional learning activities, SWITCH cooking school activities, school-wide SWITCH celebration events and the SWITCH Youth Ambassadors program.

With the help of The Healthiest State Initiative, SWITCH has expanded its focus on overall well-being by offering additional professional development for school staff, including access to training and resources to address school staff well-being and the topic of mental health.

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