Alliance for a Healthier Generation Announces America’s Healthiest Schools
(NEW YORK, NY) August 8, 2017 – Three hundred twenty-three schools were recognized today as America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization that empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.
America’s Healthiest Schools are all recipients of Healthier Generation’s prestigious National Healthy Schools Award, exemplifying a growing national movement to create healthier schools for kids. This year’s winners hail from 30 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly half of all recognized schools are in Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona.
“Every child deserves to go to a healthy school. We couldn’t be prouder to recognize these schools for leading the way,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “The administrators, food service staff, physical educators, classroom teachers and parents in these communities have all worked incredibly hard to prioritize student health and set kids on a path of lifelong success, both in and out of the classroom.”
Schools earned the distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education, and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models. Each recognized school participates in Healthier Generation’s landmark Healthy Schools Program—one of the nation’s largest school-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives—which has worked with more than 35,000 schools serving over 20 million students since 2006.
All recognized schools:
- Meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks
- Offer breakfast daily
- Implement district wellness policies and update progress annually
- Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure physical activity throughout the school day
Schools are eligible for National Healthy Schools Awards at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, based on the standards they achieve. Ten schools received the highest award, the Gold-level award, in 2017:
- Robert C. Hatch High School, Uniontown, AL
- Wells Middle School, Riverside, CA
- Marjorie Rawlings Elementary School, Pinellas Park, FL
- Glenwood School, Glendale Heights, IL
- Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, New York, NY
- Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, Memphis, TN
- Colonial Hills Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
- Marcell Elementary School, Mission, TX
- William B. Travis Elementary School, Corpus Christi, TX
- Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, McAllen, TX
“The schools receiving this well-deserved recognition are helping their students to grow up healthy. All children deserve this opportunity,” said Richard Besser, M.D., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a supporter of the Healthy Schools Program since 2006. “We are proud to have supported the Healthy Schools Program since its inception and applaud these school leaders across the country for helping all children reach their full potential. Our children spend the majority of their day at school. What happens there has a major impact on their health and well-being.”
This fall, Healthier Generation and its partners will embark on a local, regional and national campaign to celebrate the accomplishments of America’s Healthiest Schools and encourage other schools to join the Healthy Schools Program. Campaign supporters include Sportime featuring SPARK, Stop & Shop, RWJF and Healthier Generation founders—the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.
Healthier Generation’s work with award-winning schools is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The JPB Foundation, Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, Target Enterprise, Inc., Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health and the United Way of Greater Cleveland.
About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation empowers kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health. More than 25 million children have been helped by the Alliance’s work with schools, communities and businesses across the country. Make a difference at HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter.