CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 49

July 8, 2011

47 Missouri Schools Receive National Health Awards

The School Food Services section of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that 47 schools in seven districts have received HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) awards.

The national awards program was established in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have improved their school environment with nutritious foods, physical activity and nutrition education.

To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, such as offering fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Rockwood School District

Schools in the Rockwood School District were first in Missouri to be recognized by the HealthierUS School Challenge.  Students Kyle Tournillon and Abby Tichenor, along with Cafeteria Manager Toni Berhorst and P.E. Teacher Dave Wallington accepted the award for Wild Horse Elementary on May 24.

The HUSSC criteria reflect current U.S. dietary guidelines, as well as recommendations published by the Institute of Medicine for foods that should be served in schools outside of the organized school lunch meals.

Selected schools are recognized at one of four levels of superior performance:  Bronze, Silver, Gold or Gold Award of Distinction.  Last March, Rockwood School District became the first district in Missouri to qualify for the award.

“We commend the schools that have met the HealthierUS School Challenge,” said Karen Wooton, coordinator of school food services for the state department of education.  “Their leadership and commitment to good nutrition and exercise is promoting a healthy lifestyle for their students.  We expect to see more schools recognized in the coming year.”

Missouri winners recognized to date are:

Grain Valley School District - Bronze

    • Grain Valley South Middle School
    • Grain Valley North Middle School
    • Matthews Elementary
    • Prairie Branch Elementary
    • Sni-A-Bar Elementary
    • Stony Point Elementary

Hickman Mills School District – Bronze

    • Burke Elementary

Jefferson City Public Schools - Silver

    • Belair Elementary
    • Callaway Hills Elementary
    • Cedar Hill Elementary
    • East Elementary
    • Lawson Elementary
    • Moreau Heights Elementary
    • North Elementary
    • Pioneer Trail Elementary
    • South Elementary
    • Thorpe Gordon Elementary
    • West Elementary

Joplin Public Schools – Bronze

    • Cecil Floyd Elementary
    • Columbia Elementary
    • Duenweg Elementary
    • Duquesne Elementary
    • Eastmorland Elementary
    • Emerson Elementary
    • Irving Elementary
    • Jefferson Elementary
    • Kelsey Norman Elementary
    • McKinley Elementary
    • Royal Heights Elementary
    • Stapleton Elementary
    • West Central Elementary

Kansas City School District – Bronze

    • Gladstone Elementary
    • Hartman Elementary

Nixa Public Schools – Bronze

    • High Pointe Elementary

Rockwood School District – Silver

    • Chesterfield Elementary

Rockwood School District – Bronze

    • Babler Elementary
    • Blevins Elementary
    • Geggie Elementary
    • Green Pines Elementary
    • Kehrs Mill Elementary
    • Pond Elementary
    • Ridge Meadows Elementary
    • Stanton Elementary
    • Uthoff Valley Elementary
    • Westridge Elementary
    • Wild Horse Elementary
    • Woerther Elementary

Last year, first lady Michelle Obama introduced the “Let’s Move!” initiative and incorporated the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids.  At that time, monetary incentive awards became available to schools meeting one of the four levels of performance (Bronze - $500, Silver - $1,000, Gold - $1,500, and Gold Award of Distinction - $2,000).  Each school also receives an award plaque, a banner to display in the school, and the school’s name listed on the USDA’s Team Nutrition website.