Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What does it mean to be a Healthier US Challenge Bronze School?

A big congratulations to the following Somerville Public Schools, who are recipients of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) Bronze Award:
 
·         Dr. Albert F. Argenziano School
·         East Somerville Community School
·         Arthur D. Healey School
·         John F. Kennedy Elementary School
·         West Somerville Neighborhood School
·         Winter Hill Community Innovation School
 
What does it mean to be a HUSSC Bronze School? Well, besides being among an elite group of schools, only approximately 7% of schools throughout the United States are certified as HUSSC schools, this means that these Somerville schools have been working day in and day out to go above and beyond the standards set forth for nutrition and physical activity.
 
The school kitchens are cooking up whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables, and serving all of these in a tasty and visually appealing manner. And we’re not repeating the same choices over and over again either. We’re working hard to keep the menu fresh and interesting; for example, by offering a different fruit every day and serving a variety of veggies, dark green, red/orange, legume, starchy, etc., over the course of the week. Other competitive foods or extra foods are not sold or served to students so junk food is out of the school. We are also making sure that the students are getting structured nutrition education. We want them to learn about healthy choices in the classrooms, experience it in the cafeteria, and then take this knowledge home to family and friends.
 
On top of the healthy food choices available to students, we’re making sure these kids are moving! They are participating in gym class, moving at recess and getting as many opportunities as possible throughout the day to get structured physical activity.
 
The purpose of all these efforts is to support the “whole child” and to develop the intellectual, physical, social and emotional potential of all students. This is a goal of the Somerville School Committee and is reflected in the District Wellness Policy. The HUSSC award represents the dedication to the students of Somerville that happens at all district schools on a daily basis.
 
Congratulations again to all the schools!! Keep up the good work!!
 
Content provided by Charlotte Stephenson, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Coordinator

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