Challenge Day

CDC Report Confirms School Connectedness Has Long-Lasting Positive Effect On Adolescents

Critical Need for Challenge Day Programs in Schools and Communities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Data Summary & Trends Report (2011 – 2021) related to adolescent health and well-being and the health
behaviors and experiences among U.S. high school students.


While the report highlights a decade’s data of successes and challenges, it points to the negative trend of mental health among students continuing to worsen following the global COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the first YRBS data collected
since the start of the pandemic, subsets of students had “very different experiences.” 


And for the first time, the YRBS measured social determinants of health-related to unstable housing and protective factors related to school connectedness and parental monitoring. 


The CDC’s data confirm what Challenge Day has prioritized in our programs and known all along that “school connectedness plays a vital role in shaping mental, physical and social growth.”


While the data are alarming, the new measurement of school connectedness, defined by the CDC as “the feeling among adolescents that people at their school care about them, their well-being and success” reaffirms the critical need for the work driving Challenge Day’s mission and our far-reaching impact since our inception in 1987. 


Further, the report advises schools to develop partnerships to help build school connectedness and counter the negative trends cited. 


As a nonprofit invested in building compassion and hope in schools and our communities, we depend on your support and generosity to expand our reach with our innovative programs and approaches that help youth and adults unlearn harmful habits, discover strengths in vulnerability, and experience the social and emotional rewards of full expression through the lens of compassion, connection and diversity.


We invite you to support our work and help us reach the next 1 million youth and adults by joining our GIVE IT UP FOR YOUTH CAMPAIGN! 

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