Client spotlight: Columbus City Schools

Columbus City Schools (CCS) #SpiritofCCS is Ohio’s largest school district with over 52,000 students and one of the largest employers in Ohio with approximately 10,000 employees. It is also a very geographically dispersed district with 130+ locations, including schools, administrative buildings, bus compounds, food distribution centers and maintenance sites. In 2012, CCS put out a Request for Proposal looking for a true partner to support them in building their employee wellness program.

CCS’s passion for students is a guiding compass in all they do and they wanted this passion to permeate their wellness program as well. Schools, health agencies, parents, and communities share a common goal of supporting the health and academic achievement of adolescents. Research shows that the health of students is linked to their academic achievement. By working together, the various sectors can ensure that every young person, in every school, in every community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

With such a diverse workforce and numerous locations, achieving their goals would be no easy feat! They had some pretty specific objectives they wanted to achieve with this program:

  • Help leadership commitment to wellness approaches that are integral to all decisions impacting student success

  • Incorporate wellness into all appropriate CCS policies, planning, processes, instruction, and decision-making forums

  • Support and promote CCS as nationally recognized wellness program

  • Have a Wellness Innovator Infrastructure at each site

Choosing the Right Partner
Choosing the right vendor partner was an integral part of CCS’s program success. The program design was critically important and the selected partner needed to be flexible and have the ability to customize programming based on the significantly unique needs of each employer group —what worked at the bus compound and food service location wouldn’t work at other locations — and the program had to be nimble enough to make adjustments frequently as needed throughout.

Once the partnership was established, Alyfe and CCS strategically implemented a Blitz Campaign that touched every location. Alyfe was charged with increasing program awareness, participation and engagement in the CCS Wellness Initiative, by engaging, educating, and exciting CCS participants. In-depth surveys were conducted in order to construct the most effective and data driven program possible for each location. Alyfe also believed that having a partner in each location was critical to the success of the program and we recruited 150 participants in all 132 locations to assist with the coordination of location specific programming.

Through this network of wellness champions and Alyfe’s flexibility, we were able to provide highly customized programming options to fit within the culture of each CCS location. Alyfe supported the CCS Wellness Initiative with over 100 onsite classes per month, throughout the district.

  • Fitness Classes

  • Nutrition Education Presentations

  • Cooking Demonstrations

  • General Health Programming

  • Stress-Less Sessions

  • Well-being Challenges with flexible tracking options


Recently, the CCS Wellness Initiative was selected as a “Silver Award Winner” in 2016 for the Health Ohio Business Council’s Healthy Workplace awards. For more on Alyfe’s services, contact one of our Alyfe Strategists!