America's Healthiest Schools: Green Valley Elementary School
Green Valley 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.
The Green Valley Gators are committed to creating a healthy school environment. Students at Green Valley Elementary School benefit from extra minutes of physical activity each day. This year the school hosted “Walk at School Day,” which encouraged classrooms to join in on a walk to music in the gym or around campus. Thanks to the school's increased physical education program, students at Green Valley are making physical fitness a priority. The school has seen vast improvements in fitness testing results through the Presidential Youth Fitness Program over the last year.
Green Valley is also working to ensure that students make healthy food choices throughout the school day. The school participates in farm-to-table initiatives that bring local produce to school for kids to try. When given the chance to try new fruits and vegetables, many students are surprised that they enjoy them. This fresh, local produce is also finding its way onto breakfast and lunch menus at Green Valley Elementary. In addition, the school has expanded its breakfast program to offer breakfast in the classroom. ”Offering breakfast in the classroom to all students has been very easy to implement, yet so beneficial to our students,” said Assistant Principal Dana DePew.
With these healthy changes, the school’s attendance is at an all-time high and behavior has greatly improved. The Healthy Schools Program allowed Green Valley Elementary School to take a deeper look into the school’s policies and identify areas for improvement. By working together, the school has created a community committed to offering healthy choices for its students.