From an Everett School District news release.
District elementary schools earns national HealthierUS School Challenge Award
District’s 17 elementary schools earn bronze medals
All 17 elementary schools in Everett Public Schools have been recognized as HealthierUS Schools. The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity. The award recognizes schools that support healthy eating through the lunch program, nutrition education, and physical education both during and after school.
Each school receives a monetary incentive of $500, an award plaque signed by a USDA official, and a banner to display. School names will be added to the HUSSC website which lists national winners. (As of the June 15 date of this announcement, the HUSSC website had not been updated with the latest round of winners.)
Competing for the award is voluntary. Schools choosing to go through the application process learn much doing so, according to the district’s Food and Nutrition Manager Joanna Peeler. Peeler has recently moved into that position, replacing Debbie Webber who oversaw the district’s nutrition program for more than 30 years. “I was fortunate to have worked for Debbie who is so well known and highly regarded for the health and cost efficiency of the district meal programs. I was also fortunate to have worked on our district application for this award, to better understand the quality of our meals and how we can make them even better.”
The application requires in-depth detail about food and school programs, menu worksheets, districtwide nutrition, education and physical education activity, policies and practices promoting health and fitness and information about the districtwide wellness policy.
Peeler notes that the award is in synch with the district’s new strategic plan. “The plan envisions each student knowing how to make informed choices about health and fitness. One way we can help achieve that goal is to have programs and food in our schools that set healthy standards for students and help them understand the reasons for those choices now and in the future.”
For more information:
Mary Waggoner, 425-385-4040
Joanna Peeler, 425-385-4259