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The Learning Connection Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to explore solutions to integrate nutrition and physical activity into learning in schools to enhance the health, wellness and happiness for all kids in New York and New Jersey.

You have been identified as an expert, innovator, and/or key influencer in the field, and your experience and unique perspective will be crucial to our collective success.

The two‐day Learning Connection Summit will be unlike any meeting you may have attended in the past. It will not be a typical learning seminar or conference where, for the most part, you listen to a series of presentations and panels. The Summit will be a highly-participative, action‐focused process engaging 150 leading stakeholders to identify the strengths we can build on; shape a common vision for the future; brainstorm and prototype solutions; and create action plans that can lead to measureable improvements. By bringing together students, parents, educators, administrators, food service leaders, physical education leaders, innovative non-profits, and government representatives and other experts, we take a “system in the room” approach that can find solutions that none of us can create on our own.

We hope you are as excited as we are to participate in this summit.


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What It’s All About

The Learning Connection

The two-day event will be based on a model called the Appreciative Inquiry Summit pioneered by David Cooperrider, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. This summit model has been used in a wide variety of contexts to create large-scale positive change.

What is Appreciative Inquiry? To appreciate means to value—to understand those things worth valuing. To inquire means to study, to ask questions, to explore. Appreciative Inquiry is, therefore, a collaborative exploration to identify and understand a particular group’s strengths, their greatest opportunities, and their aspirations for the future, and to build a shared plan of action that will help create that future. 

An appreciative inquiry summit is a whole-system working meeting that engages a cross-section of as many stakeholder groups as possible—constituencies that care about and have a stake in the future of the issue at hand.

This means more diversity than usual in a working meeting, and a chance for each person and stakeholder group to be heard and to be exposed to other perspectives on the issues and opportunities. It is not a conference. Each of you have been selected because of your ability to contribute as innovators, decision makers, influencers or activators to create positive change. 

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Your Role Prior to & During the Summit

We ask that you come to the Summit:

During the Summit, your role will be to:


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Hunger Solutions New York is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger.

Share our Strength (SOS) works to end childhood hunger by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals

New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) works not only to meet New York City residents’ immediate food needs, but also to enact innovative solutions to help society move “beyond the soup kitchen” to ensure economic and food self-sufficiency for all Americans.

Action for Healthy Kids is the nation’s leading nonprofit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by partnering with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity.

American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC) is the checkoff promotion organization funded by dairy farmers in New York, Northern New Jersey and Northeastern Pennsylvania whose mission includes acting as nutrition advocates for children throughout the marketing area.

(Select the image icon to visit our sponsors’ sites)

(Summit Agenda)


New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD) supports, encourages, facilitates, advocates and promotes physically active and healthy lifestyles through school and community programs in health education, physical education, recreation and dance.

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Muhammad Wilkerson Defensive End for NY Jets says….

Next Steps: Learning Connection Resources

Group Initiatives

Speaker Presentations

Graphic Illustrations



Watch this informative video to see what actually took place during the summit. 

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