Milford’s Elementary Schools Win “Healthy” AwardNat’l award highlights commitment to nutrition and physical education The Milford Public Schools recently learned that eight elementary schools in the district have been selected as recipients of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge (HUSSC), a program offered through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
The Challenge is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The award is bestowed to schools across the country for their commitment to nutrition, physical education, and promotion of a healthier school environment for all.
The elementary schools in Milford join a select group of schools in America with only 4% of schools nationwide receiving this distinction. Schools needed to meet or exceed all HUSSC criteria through demonstrated excellence in the following categories:
- School Breakfast and Lunch program offerings
- Nutrition Education coursework
- Physical Education coursework
- Opportunities for physical activity (other than physical education class time)
- School Wellness policies and practices
Milford’s Foodservice Director Eileen Faustich was extremely pleased with the news and was quick to mention that it was a united effort by students, staff, and the foodservice team.
“These recognitions represent the work that everyone did together in making the concept of healthy living ‘real,’” commented Faustich.
“The physical education teachers incorporated lessons that depicted life-long healthy habits. The classroom teachers encouraged students to try new foods and explained why they are important for a healthy life. The foodservice team incorporated new and colorful foods into our menus that taste great. It’s a win-win for all of us!”
A noteworthy part of the program conducted at the schools included having the students sample new foods through the school’s lunch programs. Interestingly, once the students tried them, they loved them.
Examples of these included spinach salad with strawberries, whole grain items, and lots of locally-grown fruits and vegetables. An emphasis on physical activity was also highlighted in physical education classes and through teacher-led recess periods.
As winners of the Bronze Award, each of our elementary schools will receive a banner and a plaque for the school, as well as a $500 award to continue their healthy living programs.
“We are proud to have received this award as it underscores our commitment to children’s health,” said Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Feser. “Children who eat well and are physically active are healthier, which positively affects their sense of well-being and their learning.”