CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Cabell County middle school has been selected as a national recipient of the Blue Apple Health Education Award. Enslow Middle School in Huntington is among five schools across the country to be selected for the annual award honoring outstanding health education programs.
Judges cited Enslow’s comprehensive program in its review, noting that its sixth through eighth grade curriculum is linked to county and state health education curriculum as well as the National Health Education Standards. Health education is taught for 12 weeks each year. The program’s goal is to give school-aged children the knowledge and skills needed to practice and maintain healthy behaviors and lifestyles.
"All of our Blue Apple Award schools are models for other schools and school districts,” said Katherine Wilbur, chairwoman of the Blue Apple Health Education Awards program for the American Association for Health Education. “They recognize the importance of educating students about health and know that healthy, informed students perform better in the classroom."
Strong nutrition and wellness programs are especially important in a state like West Virginia, where nearly 85,000 public schoolchildren are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. Nationally, more than 12 million children and adolescents in the United States are considered obese, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Our schools are critical to addressing the crisis because much of the food students eat each day as well as their physical activity happens at school,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “Enslow’s program illustrates how schools can help by promoting healthy eating habits and fostering an appreciation of physical activity. If we can get kids interested and more involved in exercise and nutrition, then their health and quality of life will greatly improve.”
The Blue Apple Award criteria are based on best practices as outlined in the National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula.
--The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.,” West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.