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Healthy Schools Support Learning: Loma Vista Middle School

On October 2, 2015, at the 2015 Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will recognize Loma Vista Middle School as one of 376 schools that have transformed the school environment into a healthier place as part of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.

The Healthy Schools Program, a national, school-based childhood obesity prevention initiative, has worked with more than 30,000 schools to increase quality physical activity, health education, and nutrition.

The Program is particularly important as aside from home, kids spend most of their time at school, making schools important places to influence kids’ behavior and lifelong health habits. Research shows that healthy students learn better: they perform better on tests, get better grades, attend school more often and behave better in class.

“When I was a little kid and would go out to eat, I would go right to the soda first. Now, I know better,” said Albert, a student at Loma Vista Elementary School. Albert is one of the many students learning healthy habits with the help of the school’s numerous wellness initiatives.

The school’s cafeteria has aligned its meal options with the USDA federal nutrition standards. The school only permits the sale of competitive foods that comply with the Smart Snacks in School standards, also hosting workshops to inform staff members about healthier options for celebrations, rewards and student fundraisers.

"Many classes now incorporate nutrition in their curriculum and use nutritional concepts to deliver common core standards."

- Patricia Suppe, Wellness Coordinator

Physical activity is a top priority at the school; teachers incorporate movement breaks into their lesson plans, and staff participate in pedometer challenges and a walking club. The school also hosted four popular family nights, where parents and students learned new fitness activities, tasted healthy foods, and received resources to guide healthy choices at home.

“I am continually surprised by my students’ awareness of the importance of being healthy,” said Abigail Schneider, seventh-grade language arts teacher. She continued, “They are proud of themselves and they support each other, and I am so proud to work at a school that values the educational and physical wellbeing of its students.”

With the help of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Loma Vista will continue to build a healthier school environment. “The Healthy Schools Program has been the catalyst for making tremendous changes and creating a culture of health and wellness at Loma Vista that will last for many years to come,” said Wellness Coordinator Patricia Suppe.

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Support for Loma Vista Middle School is generously provided by Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation.