America's Healthiest Schools: Lucile M. Hendricks Elementary School
Lucile M. Hendricks 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 Lucile M. Hendricks Elementary School, students are benefiting from the many physical activity opportunities offered each day. Before school begins, students start the day with fifteen minutes of recess. By getting moving first thing in the morning, kids come into the classroom ready to learn. The morning activity has also expanded the school’s breakfast program, as now many students come into the classroom hungry and make healthy food choices to start the day off right.
Lucile Hendricks teachers are using physical activity breaks, such as GoNoodle’s animated videos, to keep their classrooms energized. The physical education (PE) department at the school encourages students to think about new ways they can be physically active and supports them in doing so. For example, they started a club where students create, test, and play their very own active games. Some activities have become so popular that students request to play them during PE class.
Staff have stepped up to the challenge to become healthy role models for the students by choosing healthy foods and participating in fitness challenges to inspire kids to do the same. Working with the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, Lucile McKee Hendricks Elementary has truly made changes that are benefiting students and staff.
PE Teacher Jose R. Diaz said, “We have had positive changes in our daily attendance and in our test scores. We have also noticed that students are more knowledgeable about nutrition when selecting their breakfast and lunch in school.”