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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

March 18, 2013

Awards Highlight Importance of Student and School Wellness

Three Oregon schools honored for wellness programs

(Salem, Ore)
– Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton today announced that Benson Polytechnic High School (Portland Public Schools), Chenowith Elementary (North Wasco County School District), and Meriwether Lewis Elementary (Portland Public Schools) are the recipients of the 2013 Oregon School Wellness Awards. Now in its sixth year, the Oregon School Wellness Awards recognize outstanding school wellness programs that creatively and effectively promote healthy student behavior.

“You cannot underestimate the impact student health has on student learning,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “By creating a school culture that values good nutrition, physical activity, and overall student and staff health, these schools have also laid the foundation for a vibrant and successful learning environment. I want to commend the students and staff at Benson, Chenowith, and Meriwether Lewis for their commitment to health and wellness and for serving as strong models for the rest of the state.”

The Oregon Department of Education is joined in recognizing these schools by the Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council which serves as the Title Sponsor for these awards. Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash prize, a banner, and a certificate of recognition to be presented at local school celebrations later this spring.

“Healthy students are better students. Research shows that improved nutrition, daily breakfast and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance,” said Anne Goetze, Director of Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council. “These schools are shining examples of what is possible when our students, staff, and communities truly embrace health and wellness as a tool to support student success.”

School Wellness Policies are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from school districts receiving federally-funded school meals. These School Wellness Policies set goals for school-based activities that promote healthy eating, daily physical activity, and other wellness behaviors. Individual schools must implement the district policy but can also go above and beyond the policy to improve student health. These three schools are all excellent examples of schools taking their wellness policies to the next level.

For more information on the winning schools, go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/superintendent/release/2013-awardee-background.pdf PDF

Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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