As part of its Healthy Behaviors Initiative, The Rapides Foundation hosts the Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors each year as a way for participants to learn how to become advocates for healthy choices and policy change in their schools and communities.
The ninth annual summit was held in September 2019, with approximately 600 students and teachers from seven Central Louisiana school districts attending the event. The theme of the youth summit was #MoveMore #EatWell #LiveClean, and the agenda for the day included youth advocacy presentations, energizer breaks, and breakout sessions to educate summit participants on the issues of tobacco prevention, substance and alcohol abuse prevention, and healthy eating and active living. Presenters included nationally recognized advocates in those focus areas.
Summit attendance is part of grant funding to Central Louisiana school districts from the Foundation's Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant. Participating school districts in the Healthy Behaviors grant for the 2019-2020 school year are: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides and Vernon.