Elementary schools earn national award

COUNTY — The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, will recognize A.R. Lewis Elementary and West End Elementary for transforming their campuses into healthy places for students and staff.

Both schools will be presented with the Bronze National Recognition Award in the fall of 2013.

To earn the National Recognition Award, A.R. Lewis and West End improved their 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 professional development to schools such as onsite and virtual trainings with school health experts, access to a customer support center, science-based resources, and success stories — at no cost — to more than 16,000 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.

“We are very excited to get the award. Until this year, only seven schools in the state had received it, and this is the first time a South Carolina school has earned the award after just its first year in the program,” said Angela Watson, Coordinator of Nursing for SDPC. “We partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to offer our students and employees more resources to have a healthier school and work environment. We have identified ways to have healthier schools, but also realized that we already had many programs in place that created a healthier environment. In the coming year, all of our schools will continue to work with Alliance for a Healthier Generation to improve health and wellness.”

“This year’s honorees are an example for schools across America. Their hard work and commitment to make health a priority for students and staff is to be admired,” 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. 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