America's Healthiest Schools: Curtis Elementary School
Curtis Elementary School - Bossier Parish School District, LA
Curtis Elementary School was named one of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The school met stringent standards set by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program 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. 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.
At Curtis Elementary School, the entire school community is working together to create a healthy school environment. Before school, teachers, administrators, students and parents participate in the Curtis Tigers Running Club, named after the school’s mascot. “We have seen a decrease in behavior among students who participate in morning exercise with the Tiger Running Club,” said Assistant Principal Julia Henry. Administrators regularly join the students in their physical education classes to encourage participation and movement. This year, the school also hosted a special hour-long recess event where parents and community members were also invited to join students in active games at school. By getting everyone involved, students are more excited about physical activity and have healthy role models to look up to.
Another popular way to get everyone moving was the school’s two-month faculty wellness challenge. Staff placed the Alliance’s Fitness Break cards around school, inspiring faculty to perform short work-outs throughout the day. Students enjoyed seeing the cards around campus and encouraged their teachers to participate. Some even joined the fun! Students are continuously excited about moving more each day, and this year the school also created the Tiger Trek Challenge, which had classes compete to see who could walk, run or bike the most miles in one month.
Students have also started to make healthier food choices at school thanks to incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks. Principal Terri Bird said, “I am very proud of our Curtis Tigers because students, parents, teachers and staff have all worked together to meet the wellness challenge. This challenge has created increased conversation around nutrition, exercise and good health. Plus, we are having fun together!”