CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Four West Virginia schools have received the bronze National Recognition Award for healthy school improvement at the Healthy Schools Program Forum.
Cabell County Alternative and Salt Rock Elementary in Cabell County, Mountain View Elementary in Putnam County, and Woodsdale Elementary in Ohio County received the bronze award for school improvement focusing specifically on healthy living and fighting childhood obesity. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation recently honored the more than 250 recipients in Little Rock, Ark.
The National Recognition Award is given to schools that improved conditions and met or exceeded the standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. Since the 2008-2009 school year, eight West Virginia schools have received the award, four were silver.
“These schools and others in West Virginia are working hard to address the issue of childhood obesity and inactivity,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “We know that when children have good nutrition and lead a healthy lifestyle, their academic performance will improve.”
Each school honored with an award had begun to make large strides in creating a healthier atmosphere for students. Cabell County Alternative created a wellness activity room complete with indoor sports equipment, began serving hot breakfast to promote active learning in class and made fresh, healthy food available throughout the day. Mountain View Elementary made healthy choices easier for students by placing aides near the salad bar, creating a pedometer walking program to challenge students to take more steps and promoting healthy living among the staff with zumba classes and health and wellness screenings. Salt Rock Elementary introduced salad bars, taste testing, and “Recipe Fridays” as well as a morning walking club. Woodsdale Elementary students get moving with Monday morning boot camp sessions and JAMmin’ Minute breaks throughout the week. The school has begun including healthy tips in its newsletter, a student-involved gardening project and a health lunch day to educate the staff about healthy food choices.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has set a goal to reduce nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015. The organization has said children and adult role models must begin to make healthy choices on their own to reach this goal. The combination of available nutritional food and physical exercise can create both an active atmosphere and a healthier lifestyle for students, the organization said.
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