It’s official! McNary Heights Elementary in Umatilla School District, Madison Elementary in Coos Bay School District and Vern Patrick Elementary in Redmond School District are winners of the 2018 Oregon School Wellness Award.
This award recognizes schools for outstanding school wellness policies, practices and programs that promote healthy student and staff behavior. These schools have implemented evidence-based strategies to encourage student, staff and community health and wellness. These strategies include:
- Providing healthy celebration opportunities
- Scheduling recess before lunch
- Providing breakfast after the bell
- Wellness initiatives for school staff
- Family Night events that get everyone moving
- School gardens
- Healthy cooking programs for families
- Open gym before and after school hours
“There is clear data that student health and student learning are connected. School-based wellness policies and activities create a safe place for students to practice selecting foods and experience physical activity that contribute to lifelong health,” ODE Manager of School Nutrition Programs Heidi Dupuis said. “These awards highlight the best efforts in Oregon to support wellness in students, their families, and communities.”
The Nutrition Council of Oregon and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the title sponsor for these awards, join the Oregon Department of Education in recognizing these schools. Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash prize, a banner and a certificate of recognition presented at local school celebrations that will take place over the next two months.
“Many schools across Oregon have strong wellness policies,” Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council Director of Youth Wellness Crista Hawkins said. “These schools bring wellness policies to action through healthy eating and physical activity initiatives. The winning schools are wonderful examples of the work being done to support on-going wellness for students, staff, and school communities.”
The places where we live, work and learn have a big impact on our health. Wellness policies guide school efforts to establish an environment that creates a healthy workplace for staff, and promotes student health, well-being, and ability to learn. All districts are required to have wellness policies in place that meet Oregon’s minimum requirements, but schools can choose to implement stronger policies or additional programs to further support student and staff wellness.