The Five Year Plan

John M. Sexton Elementary School has been a member of our Healthy Schools Program since 2009. In those five years since bringing our program to their school, Sexton reinvented their cafeteria, removed unhealthy staff vending machines, met the First Lady of the United States, offered recess to all students every day, and is currently trying to become the first school from Florida to win our Gold National Recognition Award.

Enjoy their five year journey as told through the eyes of Jennifer Velez, Sexton’s wellness coordinator.

Years One & Two

"I decided right away that Sexton needed to be part of this program... I completed the Inventory and found that we were lacking in most areas but the biggest changes needed to happen in our cafeteria."



Year Three

Year Four

"It was an experience I will never forget! Our little school in St. Petersburg was being recognized by national media and on billboards around the city. All because we were making healthy changes!"


"Our wonderfully creative cafeteria manager continued her taste tests and began dressing up as characters such as the Green Bean Queen and the Purple Sweet Potato Punk Rocker."


Year Five

"We were still working on how to add recess to our schedule plus our cafeteria still had some changes to make that required our district to change the foods they were purchasing for our entrees"



Today, we’re going for gold.

"We will continue to pursue our goal of achieving a Gold National Recognition Award for Sexton but we will always have the larger goal of supporting childhood health in mind. One day at a time."

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