Each year for the past decade, Oregon School Wellness Awards have recognized outstanding schools for their efforts to improve child health by connecting nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement. On the tenth anniversary of the awards, the Oregon Department of Education announced three new schools as recipients for 2017.
- Adams Elementary, Corvallis School District
- Milwaukie High School, North Clackamas School District
- St. Paul Elementary, St. Paul School District
In partnership with Oregon Department of Education and Nutrition Council of Oregon, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council serves as the title sponsor for these awards. Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash prize, a banner, and a certificate of recognition presented at special school assemblies.
“We are excited about how this award will help shape our future wellness efforts,” said Kylie Pybus, MPH, Health and Wellness Coordinator at Milwaukie High School.
Schools are judged and selected based on criteria including school wide wellness policies and initiatives, physical education and physical activity, school meal programs and community involvement. Each one of this year’s winners were lauded for improving their standards and showing positive results in healthy student and staff behavior.
“There is clear data that student health and student learning are connected,” said Joyce Dougherty, Child Nutrition Programs Director for the Oregon Department of Education.
Oregon schools that are actively working to improve student and staff wellness are encouraged to apply for next year’s awards. To learn more, visit the wellness page on the Oregon Department of Education website.
Toni Veeman served blueberry yogurt muffins as taste test for students at St. Paul Elementary.
The principal at Milwaukie High School pedaled a smoothie bike to make tasty strawberry yogurt smoothies.
St. Paul Elementary School was recognized for an updated wellness policy, great nutrition and physical activity. The school works with national wellness programs and enjoys strong support from the superintendent and local community.
Since 1959, the Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador (DPA) Program has been raising awareness about the dairy industry through classroom presentations, county and state fairs, community events, summer camps, school assemblies and more. The DPAs develop valuable experience with presentations, networking and life skills during their tenure.
Sara Pierson, daughter of Steve and Susan Pierson of Sar-Ben Farms in St. Paul was crowned the 2016 Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador in January. Sara is a fifth generation dairy producer and a sophomore at Oregon State University studying Agricultural Business Management.
Gina Atsma, daughter of Gerald and Nancy Atsma of Atsma Dairy in McMinnville was crowned the 2016 Dairy Princess-Ambassador First Alternate. Gina is also a fifth generation dairy producer and attends Chemeketa Community College with plans to transfer to Oregon State University’s veterinarian program.
Six other DPAs represent Oregon counties including Washington, Linn-Benton, Columbia, Tillamook, Marion and Yamhill. Together, they will provide 135 days of classroom presentations, public appearances, civic engagements, and more throughout the state of Oregon.
The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council provides financial support, coordination, training and materials to the Dairy Princess-Ambassador program to help raise awareness about dairy nutrition.
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