Seventy Four Schools Win National Nutrition Award
OLYMPIA — February 27, 2013 — A total of 74 schools recently won national awards for improving the health of their students.
The awards were administered by the HealthierUS School Challenge, a voluntary certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.
Since 2011, 156 Washington schools have won an award. The awards are based on how the schools:
- improve the nutritional quality of the foods served,
- provide students with nutrition education, and
- provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
“There are many components to student success,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “One of them is that they receive proper nutrition. All of these schools are doing a great job in that area, and I thank them.”
Four levels of awards are given: bronze, silver, gold and gold of distinction, with increasingly stringent criteria for each level. Each award comes with a monetary prize: $500 for bronze; $1,000 for silver $1000; $1,500 for gold; and $2,000 for gold of distinction. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four-year certification period.
A total of 10 schools from two districts (Highline and Wahluke) won gold of distinction awards. Schools can receive gold or gold of distinction awards by meeting the following criteria:
- High average daily participation rates (70 percent for elementary schools)
- Increased servings of whole grains
- Increased requirements for servings of fresh fruit
- Increased minutes of physical activity (minimum of 90 minutes per week for gold and 150 minutes for gold of distinction for elementary schools)
To qualify for an award, each school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Schools must:
- Participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and be a Team Nutrition school;
- Offer reimbursable lunches consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and meet US Department of Agriculture nutrition standards;
- Support the local wellness policy efforts of the school district; and
- Meet or exceed HealthierUS Challenge criteria established for:
- Average daily participation in the NSLP;
- Nutrition standards for meals and competitive foods and beverages;
- Nutrition education; and
- Physical education and activity.
The HealthierUS School Challenge – a part of the FNS – is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Among other functions, it supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign by helping schools raise healthy children.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.