ELIZABETH – At the National Healthy Schools Forum in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation awarded Bronze and Silver Awards to 17 Elizabeth Public Schools for transforming their schools into healthier places for students and team members.
Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. Leadership Academy; George Washington School No. 1; Elmora School No. 12; Christopher Columbus School No. 15; Robert Morris School No. 18; Woodrow Wilson School No. 19; and Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26 received the Bronze Award.
Schools receiving the Silver Award were Winfield Scott School No. 2; Toussaint L’Ouverture – Marquis de Lafayette School No. 6; Terence C. Reilly School No. 7; Benjamin Franklin School No. 13; Abraham Lincoln School No. 14; Victor Mravlag School No. 21 and William F. Halloran School No. 22 located at Monsignor João S. Antão School No. 31; Charles J. Hudson School No. 25; Juan Pablo Duarte-José Julián Martí School No. 28; Dr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29; and Ronald Reagan Academy School No. 30.
Former President Bill Clinton cited the cities of Elizabeth; Miami, Fla.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Prince George’s County, Md. as having the highest number of schools awarded. Clinton said, “It takes this kind of collaboration between schools, their students, and national partners to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States.”
To earn these awards, each school revamped its food service and physical activity programs to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, which provides expert advice and free resources to more than 12,000 schools nationwide to help them reverse the national trend in childhood obesity. Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum National Recognition Awards based on their level of achievement. As Bronze and Silver National Recognition Award winners, these schools join 274 other schools that are receiving this honor for their healthy achievements.
“We commend the dedication of our healthy schools for their efforts to offer students and staff nutritious meals and a variety of physical activity opportunities,” said Ginny Ehrlich, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Their success proves that despite academic pressures and budget constraints, schools can develop environments that foster healthy lifestyles to benefit young people now and into the future.”
Superintendent of Schools Pablo Muñoz praised the schools’ achievement. “I am proud that our schools have become the healthiest in America and I applaud our team members for their commitment to our students’ personal well-being. In keeping with providing excellent educational experiences for our students, we are creating a healthier school environment where students are able to concentrate and perform at their best.”
In addition to the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry leaders to provide young people better access to healthier foods, beverages, physical activity and healthcare. In January 2011, the Alliance announced new multi-industry voluntary agreements that brought together leading food manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and technology companies to help America’s schools serve healthier meals at more affordable prices. As a result of these agreements, more than 30 million students across the country will have access to healthier school meals – including at least 14 million students who currently participate in the free and reduced lunch program.
The Healthy Schools Program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Any school in the U.S. can enroll and receive free assistance and support to become a healthier place for students to learn and staff to work. Find out more at HealthierGeneration.org.
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