Stand With Us

To make a change that matters, we need commitment from all corners of Vermont: businesses, schools and colleges, cities and towns, individual Vermonters. 3-4-50 is our call to action to provide a foundation for longer and healthier lives for Vermonters, and a solution to the escalating costs of treating preventable disease.

success stories, tips and toolkits

Are you an individual, representative of a school, business, or someone else passionate about improving health? Get proven-to-work tips and tricks from other real Vermonters. The road to better health starts one step at a time with these simple tips. Discover the tools to help you succeed!

3-4-50 Cities and Towns

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"By joining together, the residents of Wolcott breathed new life into the park."

Wolcott makes a place for families

Driving long distances in rural areas to find safe, fun places for kids to play is a hardship on any family, and especially for families of limited income. Wolcott pulled the community together to improve the Wolcott Athletic Fields. Businesses, Pre-k students, elementary school students, the town of Wolcott, the local Athletic Association, the County Conservation District, and many individuals built benches and an entrance sign, painted and installed new nets on the basketball court, prepped the ground for a living Willow Structure, mulched, raked and seeded around the court, and flagged the walking path. By joining together, the residents of the town breathed new life into the park and created opportunities for safe, fun activity for kids and adults alike.

"As the garden flourishes, a sense of community has developed among neighbors."

The ripple effect of a community garden in Newport

Access to healthy food is difficult with limited transportation and a neighborhood that doesn't feel safe. When residents advocated for a community garden and a land owner donated the land, the city created a place for people to grown their own healthy food. Residents shouldered the responsibility for preparing the garden plots and planting vegetables. As the garden flourishes, a sense of community has developed among neighbors, families are eating vegetables that they weren't eating before, and crime is down.

"Worksite gardens encouraged some employees to plant their own home gardens."

Worksite gardens: team building through veggies

The Health Department partners with the Vermont Community Garden Network to support vegetable gardens at worksites. Employees from Black River Good Neighbor Services can attest to the benefit of their worksite garden. "We produced and ate fresh produce and had exercise on a regular basis while tending the garden. And we worked together on a successful project." Worksite gardens encouraged some employees to plant their own home gardens.

"Having employee-driven wellbeing initiatives has had a tremendous positive impact on morale and camaraderie"

Worksite wellness is win-win

You don't have to be a huge employer to add a worksite wellness program with long-term benefits. Hickock & Boardman's Alison Rogers: "Our company is small enough to allow all employees to participate in the planning process if they desire. Having employee-driven wellbeing initiatives has led to improvement in nearly all aspects of wellbeing and has had a tremendous positive impact on morale and camaraderie." Employees at the Village of Swanton have access to monthly biometric screenings offered by a health coach to help them reach their individual goals. They also take part in a worksite garden during the summer to increase their vegetable consumption and physical activity.

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"Parents made a case for increasing student lunch times, and administrators listened and acted."

Stowe Middle School lengthens lunchtime

Concerned parents made a case for the importance of adequate lunchtimes with Stowe school administrators, who were quick to respond. Administrators surveyed the needs of the middle school students, and decided to expand school lunches to 20 minutes. There are no standards about the length of lunch periods, and school districts make their own decisions. This district listened, and made a policy based on the needs of its students.

"Putney Central School takes seriously the growing link between physical activity and academic performance."

Activities before, during, and after school at Putney Central School

Putney Central School takes seriously the growing link between physical activity and academic performance. Matt Bristol, Physical Educator and School Champion, became a CDC funded Physical Activity Leader who creates active environments for all students to get moving 60 minutes a day. At Putney Central School this includes the Wake Up Workout Program (physical activity before school), Mountain Bike Program, Winter Sports Program, and Staff Wellness Program.

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All it takes is a moment to change a lifetime. See why these real Vermonters decided it was time to make a healthy change for themselves and their families.

Physical Activity and Nutrition

"Because of my weight, my first day of work I couldn't keep up. I didn't want to let my team down, my co-workers. I knew what I had to do: I had to get to it. The biggest thing for me to do was not eat until I'm full; I had to learn to eat until I was nourished. I also got into the Y on a scholarship program. Now I LOVE going to gym."
Guy
Burlington

"I just gradually put the weight on until one day I stepped on a scale and was convinced it was broken; it just can't read that high. My wife and I decided to make a change. First it was walking, then jogging. In getting back to exercising, I noticed a huge, quick change. For four years I've been able to sustain it."
Brian
St. Albans

"I wanted my kids to remember me as an active, fun mom, but I couldn't even play with them anymore. I was still wearing maternity clothes two years after the second child was born. My knees hurt; my feet hurt; but I couldn't motivate myself to lose the weight. I started the journey last summer. I joined a free boot camp in my community, and it was the most intense workout I've done in my life. My husband is so proud of me. We'll go to parties, and he'll say 'do you know what Shelia's been doing?!' It's always a struggle, but it's worth it in the end."
Sheila
East Calais

Tobacco

"The first three days were the most difficult! I used to smoke two packs a day and would wake up in the middle of the night to smoke, and now I don't. Those first three days were the worst. If I can get through three bad days, anyone can."
Laura
Bennington

"One day I saw this little old woman pulling an air tank behind her. And then — I'll never forget this — she pulls a cigarette out of her purse. She was barely strong enough to light it. That was it for me. I didn't want to be her in 20 or 30 years. When I got a craving, I thought of her and that got me through."
Sally
Rutland

"The moment of truth came after I left college and starting working. I would come home, sit in front of the TV, and either smoke or dip... I decided to take up running as a way to get in shape and feel happier... Eventually, the smoking became an obstacle, so I gave it up... I realized that I could either be healthy or a smoker, not both."
Jeff
Burlington

"We took our grandson to a family function, and I wasn't out there five minutes trying to round up this active 5-year-old and I was winded to the point where I was sweating and my heart was racing. It was a scary wake-up call for me. I had a crippling addiction. I quit smoking eight months ago. And now it feels wonderful to have quit."
Sharon
St. Johnsbury

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