CSISD campuses earn healthy school awards

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CSISD campuses earn healthy school awards

Seven College Station ISD elementary campuses recently earned awards through United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Healthier U.S. School Challenge (HUSSC).

South Knoll Elementary, College Hills Elementary, Southwood Valley Elementary, and Rock Prairie Elementary each earned the Gold with Distinction award.  Creek View Elementary earned a silver award, and Pebble Creek Elementary and Forest Ridge Elementary earned a bronze award.

CSISD is one of six districts in Texas to have campuses earn the award at the highest level, Gold with Distinction.

The Healthier U.S. School Challenge is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.  It supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.

Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.   Schools that champion HUSSC work hard to make changes to their school environment in order to improve the quality of the foods served, provide students with nutrition education, and provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.

Schools awarded receive a monetary incentive, an award plaque signed by a USDA official, a banner to display in their school, and their name listed on the FNS Team Nutrition website.

To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS.

The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served in schools, outside of the organized school lunch meals.  Healthier US Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress.  Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.

Student participation in the National School Lunch Program was required to meet or exceed an average of 70% at campuses to earn the Gold or Gold with Distinction and 60% to earn the Silver award.  No participation level is required to meet the Bronze award.  Student lunch participation was the only difference between CSISD campuses applying for this award.

The other criteria to meet this challenge at the Gold with Distinction level was met by all schools and included: at least half of the grades receive nutrition education in the classroom, a minimum of 150 minutes per week of physical education/activity is provided school policies support a wellness environment.

A complete list of Texas schools earning awards can be found here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/HealthierUS/Texas.html

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