The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, recently recognized Shannon Johnson Elementary for transforming its campus into a healthy place for students and staff. A celebration of the recognition is planned for 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at the school.
To earn the National Recognition Award, Shannon Johnson improved its nutrition services and physical activity programs to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The Healthy Schools Program provides expert advice and resources at no cost to more than 15,000 schools nationwide to help them reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, or Gold National Recognition Awards based on their level of achievement. Shannon Johnson Elementary was one of more than 250 schools from around the country honored at the Healthy Schools Program Forum in Little Rock, Ark. Shannon Johnson was one of only 4 schools from Kentucky honored and is the only school to reach national recognition status after its first year as part of the Alliance.
As a recipient of the BRONZE National Recognition Award, Shannon Johnson has worked very hard at increasing physical activity opportunities and improving school nutrition to help students make healthier lifestyle choices. Some of their school wide initiatives and activities include: a “Grow Your own” Gardening program, Healthy Choices/All Star Café, Family fitness Night, Triple Crown Run/Walk Events, Feeling Good Mileage Club, Healthy Celebration Program, Daily Physical Education, a Fitness Lab and an Action Based Learning Lab.
“The Alliance has had a tremendous impact on all of our schools in Madison County, helping us to create healthier environments for our students,” said Physical Education Teacher Kathy Todd. “They have assisted all of us in building a framework to assess the health of our schools environment and identifying areas that we need to work on. I was asked once, how much money we won for receiving this award. My answer was, technically none, but the help and guidance we have received from the Alliance has been priceless! I have been in the education business for more than 30 years and I have never seen kids SO excited about being physically active and eating right! So, it must be working!”
“We are committed to teaching the WHOLE child and are concerned about the total well-being of our staff and students,” said Principal Lee Browder. “Research does show that healthier kids make better learners!”
“The award-winning schools have demonstrated diligence and creativity that serve as an inspiration for other schools locally and nationally,” said Ginny Ehrlich, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
To further strengthen the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry leaders to provide schools better access to healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity. In 2011, the Alliance announced new voluntary agreements that brought together leading food manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and technology companies to help America’s schools serve healthier meals at more affordable prices. As a result of these agreements, more than 30 million students across the country will have access to healthier school meals – including at least 14 million students who currently participate in the free and reduced lunch program. Additionally, the Alliance’s landmark agreement with the American Beverage Association has contributed to a 90 percent reduction in calories from beverages shipped to schools between the 2004-2010 school years.
The Healthy Schools Program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To become a healthier place for students to learn and staff to work, any school in the United States can enroll and receive assistance and support, at no cost. Find out more at HealthierGeneration.org.
About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation joined forces in May of 2005 to create a healthier generation by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices and communities. For more information please visit: HealthierGeneration.org.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.