For children experiencing chronic stress, succeeding academically in the face of other obstacles can be daunting. Many efforts focused on supporting students fail to address nonacademic aspects of well-being that can impact their ability to succeed. Working to bridge the gap between research and practice, here we describe the results of an Extension-Community partnership that sought to design learning environments to support elementary students’ healthy bodies and minds. Project leaders took an ecological systems approach, intervening with students at a local elementary school across multiple contexts. This entailed creating a calming room in the school, building a community garden on the school grounds, and providing wrap-around educational programming for teachers, staff, and families. Interviews were conducted with teachers and school staff (N = 20) to measure their perceptions of the impact of this intervention. Results are presented within the framework of the socio-ecological model, accounting for the multilevel nature of the project impacts. Interview themes revealed the program’s success in supporting positive outcomes for students, staff, the school, and the surrounding community. Discussions center around the program’s impact on students and on lessons learned that could inform future efforts.



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