Two Clearwater elementary schools were among the honorees at the seventh annual Healthy Schools Program Forum for transforming their campuses into healthier places for students and staff.
Skycrest Elementary earned the Silver National Recognition Award, while Belcher Elementary took home a Bronze Award. Former President Bill Clinton presented the awards recently in Little Rock, AR.
Skycrest Elementary earned the award by making the following changes:
- Offered students water and unlimited servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and no junk food was sold
- Before school, students can walk or run while being supervised by P.E. teachers; students and staff daily enjoys activity breaks
- After school programs include golf, tennis, dance, and outdoor play
- Piloted Take 10! in the classroom.
- A Salad Day was held weekly where the staff brought salad ingredients for huge healthy lunch
- Staff was encouraged to walk, run, and do yoga together after school.
Belcher Elementary made these changes:
- Increased participation in its walk/jog Wednesdays
- Daily recess was added before or after lunch, in addition to increased physical movement in classrooms and after-school fitness opportunities
- Salad lunch options were made available, and junk food in the classrooms was significantly reduced
- Healthier snack foods and drinks were implemented in the staff snack machine
Three other Pinellas County schools were also honored: Highland Lakes Elementary won a Silver Award, while Bay Point Middle and North Shore Elementary were recognized with Bronze.
Healthy Schools Program Forum is sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The alliance created the Healthy Schools Program to help reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States by 2015. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation primarily funds the program.
The Healthy Schools Program works with more than 15,000 schools across the nation and reaches more than nine million students, teachers and other school staff.