Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe presents HealthierUS School Challenge Awards:
At the 2011 Child Nutrition Directors’ Conference, hosted by the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit, Lavaca and Harrisburg School Districts were recognized for their hard work in creating healthier environments for Arkansas children. Ginger Beebe, Arkansas First Lady, Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner, and Ellen Wahlberg-Carlisle from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), presented these districts with HealthierUS School Challenge Awards.
Lavaca Elementary School has led the way by being the first school in Arkansas to receive a HealthierUS award. They have received both the Bronze and Silver awards and are currently working toward the Gold. Harrisburg Elementary School has received the Bronze Award but is already working to receive the next award levels.
The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary initiative offered by USDA. The award is designed to recognize those schools operating the National School Lunch Program who have made extra efforts to create a healthier school environment through the promotion of nutrition and physical activity. According to USDA, Food and Nutrition, as of June 8, 2011, 1220 schools are certified for HealthierUS awards. In order to receive the awards it is important that schools take a team approach in working toward goals. Child nutrition, principals, nurses and health coordinators should all be involved in the process.
Congratulations to Lavaca and Harrisburg for these high honors! More schools in Arkansas are on their way to receiving HealthierUS School Challenge Awards. For more information on HealthierUS School Challenge contact Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit at 501-324-9502 or log on to http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html.