JCPenney Announces $300,000 Commitment to Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The retailer is the first national brand to support The Walking Classroom with a three-year commitment from the JCPenney Communities Foundation

PLANO, Texas (July 11, 2023) – Today, JCPenney, in partnership with the JCPenney Communities Foundation, announced a $300,000 donation to support The Walking Classroom, a program of Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation).

The Walking Classroom is an award-winning, evidence-based program that combines educational content with healthy habits. With nearly 200 unique podcasts on a variety of academic subjects, the program has been essential to bridging learning gaps.

The JCPenney Communities Foundation donation will support the purchase and distribution of 5,000 WalkKits, an audio device given to students. Teachers can use the devices to take students on a walk while listening to educational podcasts aligned with state curriculum standards that are supported by lesson plans, comprehension quizzes and supplemental activities.

Between 2023 and 2025, these WalkKits will reach an estimated 30,000 students in more than 150 classrooms, offering 1.2 million hours of instruction, social-emotional learning content and in-class mobility.

JCPenney has initiated the partnership with a $100,000 donation to Healthier Generation.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, in a comprehensive review of the published literature on exercise and academic performance to date, that there is a significant positive relationship between physical activity and cognitive function in children aged 4-18 years.¹

“Almost no place matters more to our communities than the classroom. A big part of JCPenney’s efforts to support America’s diverse working families is about making strides in health and well-being and in inclusive access to education. The Walking Classroom does both with such a wonderful and simple concept,” said Marc Rosen, JCPenney chief executive officer. “Programs like these can make an extraordinary difference for students, creating a healthy and engaging environment in and out of the classroom.”

Each year, school districts across the U.S. will get access to resources from The Walking Classroom. Up to 20% of The Walking Classroom WalkKits will be distributed in the North Texas area, where JCPenney is headquartered, as well as select communities across the country where JCPenney customers and associates live and work. In addition, JCPenney’s support will help fulfill existing demands of educators who have already requested The Walking Classroom for their students.

“There is a direct correlation between students’ academic performance and the amount of physical activity they get. The Walking Classroom is about providing students with the tools to walk, listen, and learn, and with JCPenney’s support and their commitment to communities, we continue to bring accessible, innovative, and effective programming to classrooms,” said Kathy Higgins, Chief Executive Officer, Healthier Generation. “We will keep equipping teachers with invaluable tools to set students up for success in the classroom and beyond, and we’re thrilled JCPenney is committed to supporting us.”

¹ The Association between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic


JCPenney is the shopping destination for America’s diverse, working families. With inclusivity at its core, the Company’s product assortment meets customers’ everyday needs and helps them commemorate every special occasion with style, quality and value. JCPenney offers a broad portfolio of fashion, apparel, home, beauty and jewelry from national and private brands and provides personal services including salon, portrait and optical. The Company and its 50,000 associates worldwide serve customers where, when and how they want to shop – from to more than 650 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

In 2022, JCPenney celebrated 120 years as an iconic American brand by continuing its legacy of connecting with customers through shopping and community engagement. Please visit JCPenney’s Newsroom to learn more and follow JCPenney on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


The JCPenney Communities Foundation celebrates and serves America’s diverse, working families in the communities where our customers and associates live and work. Supporting America’s diverse, working families today means offering access to skill-building and resources that allow everyone to thrive. To meet this goal, the Foundation invests in leading nonprofits making strides in three critical areas: job readiness, health and well-being, and inclusive access to education. The Foundation is an integral part of JCPenney Giving, the Company’s philanthropic program.

About Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a leading children’s health organization that advances equitable whole child health. Driven by our passion to ensure that every mind, everybody, and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed, our work has reached over 31 million young people across the country. To learn more and help make a difference, visit and join us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:


Latest News

Sign up to receive updates from the JCPenney Newsroom to your inbox.

View our privacy policy or, for California residents, our California privacy notice.
Scroll to Top