Twenty-One Schools Win National Nutrition Award
OLYMPIA — December 21, 2011 — While the health and nutrition of students is important to everyone, several schools in Washington have received awards for their efforts.
The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) recently awarded 21 schools from five districts each an incentive award. The awards are based on how the schools:
- improve the nutritional quality of the foods served,
- provide students with nutrition education, and
- provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
“I’ve said for many years, and it’s backed up by solid research: kids who have nutritious meals do better in school,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “It’s great that the federal government is giving awards to schools that do great work in this area.”
Four levels of awards are given: bronze, silver, gold and gold of distinction, with increasingly stringent criteria for each level. Each award comes with a monetary prize: $500 for bronze; $1,000 for silver $1000; $1,500 for gold; and $2,000 for gold of distinction. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four-year certification period.
Washington Schools that were recently awarded include:
Camas School District
Dorothy Fox Elementary School (Bronze)
Grass Valley Elementary School (Bronze)
Helen Baller Elementary School (Bronze)
La Camas Heights Elementary School (Bronze)
Prune Hill Elementary School (Bronze)
Battle Ground School District
Captain Strong Primary School (Bronze)
Daybreak Primary School (Bronze)
Glenwood Heights Primary School (Bronze)
Maple Grove Primary School (Bronze)
Pleasant Valley Primary School (Bronze)
Tukes Valley Primary School (Bronze)
Yacolt Primary School (Bronze)
Highline School District
Beverly Park Elementary School (Silver)
Madrona Elementary School (Silver)
Southern Heights Elementary School (Silver)
White Center Elementary School (Silver)
Hockinson School District
Hockinson Intermediate School (Bronze)
Hockinson Primary School (Bronze)
Marysville School District
Cascade Elementary School (Bronze)
Liberty Elementary School (Bronze)
Quil Ceda Elementary School (Bronze)
To qualify for an award, each school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Schools must:
- Participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and be a Team Nutrition school;
- Offer reimbursable lunches consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and meet US Department of Agriculture nutrition standards;
- Support the local wellness policy efforts of the school district; and
- Meet or exceed HealthierUS Challenge criteria established for:
- Average daily participation in the NSLP;
- Nutrition standards for meals and competitive foods and beverages;
- Nutrition education; and
- Physical education and activity.
The HealthierUS School Challenge – a part of the FNS – is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Among other functions, it supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign by helping schools raise healthy children.
“I want to congratulate the schools for their hard work and their commitment to student health,” Dorn said. “The application process was long and involved, and I thank each school’s nutrition services staff for how the changes they’ve helped bring to their school lunch menus have led to the awards.”
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
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