The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


United Way & Cooper Institute Name First Healthy Zone School

Troy Aikman Recognized McKinney’s Burks Elementary


On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Cooper Institute announced the selection of Nell Burks Elementary in McKinney as the first school to become part of the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program, an innovative initiative aimed at fighting childhood obesity.  Pro Football Hall of Famer and Television Sportscaster Troy Aikman presented the school principal and a group of students with an autographed Healthy Zone School Recognition Award during a brief ceremony.  Students presented Aikman with artwork representative of their commitment to health and physical fitness.  Aikman will co-chair the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program Advisory Council with world-renowned fitness expert Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.

The two-tier Healthy Zone School program offers training and financial assistance to schools to create healthier environments and recognizes schools that have already become healthy zones. As the first Healthy Zone School, Burks will receive funding and support to fully implement healthy practices on its campus and engage the surrounding community.  The school will receive teacher fitness and nutrition training along with funding for physical education equipment, health promotions and parent education tools. 

Additional public, private and charter schools interested in being part of the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program can apply online.  The six-year initiative will serve 70 schools, impacting over 25,000 students and their families by the end of its final year.


About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Currently working to create long-term community change in the areas of Education, Income and Health, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is the largest non-government funder of health and human services in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. Locally governed and volunteer-led, UWMD works with community partners to deliver more than 300 health and human services programs across North Texas. Visit to learn more.

About Cooper Institute
Established in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., is a nonprofit dedicated worldwide to preventive medicine research and education. Dr. Cooper is widely considered the “Father of Aerobics” and is credited with sparking today’s fitness movement. Now Cooper Institute is redefining health as a leader in reversing childhood obesity. Cooper Institute’s FITNESSGRAM® is mandated for use in all Texas Public Schools and in 86,000 schools across the country.  Visit to learn more.