- Pittsburgh Public Schools
Four Schools Win National Healthy Schools Award
PITTSBURGH October 12, 2018 – Four local schools – Pittsburgh Brookline, Langley, Phillips, and Manchester – named among America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, have all earned the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s prestigious National Healthy Schools Bronze Award for their efforts to create healthier school environments for students and staff.
“Congratulations to each of our schools named among America’s Healthiest Schools,” said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet Ed.D. “Our efforts to create positive and supportive school cultures aim to meet the holistic needs of our students – including their general health and wellbeing. We are grateful for our partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to meet this goal.”
Through a school-health partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital, all schools participate in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program – one of the nation’s largest school-based obesity prevention initiatives – and have been successful in making changes to better support the health and wellbeing of all students in all schools. The four award-winning schools earned their distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students more physically active throughout the school day, implementing district wellness policies, and empowering school staff to become healthy role models.
“The Healthy Schools Award is a recognition of our staff, student, parent, and community commitment to better health. We know that through better health and wellness, our students will reach their full potential”, said Felicia Bright, Social Worker, Pittsburgh Manchester.
“Our school loves the Healthy Schools Program! It allows our students to learn how to make healthy choices and holds the adults accountable to be role models to our students on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The Healthy Schools Program has provided us with the opportunity to have a backpack initiative which feeds low-income families healthy meals on the weekends,” said Lynda Torcasio, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Pittsburgh Brookline.
In addition to working with UPMC Children’s, schools collaborate with other local partners such as Grow Pittsburgh to establish school gardens, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon (P3R) and Girls on the Run to increase physical activity, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools on the Move to implement classroom physical activity breaks for students. Partnerships with Adagio Health Power Up and Common Threads expand beyond students to also improve nutrition education and cooking skills among school staff and families.
“Children spend the majority of their day at school. What happens there can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing”, said Anne Marie Kuchera, Director, Community Health, UPMC Children’s. “Schools that implement health-promoting policies and practices are helping their students to develop habits they will carry on outside of the school day and throughout their lives.”
The Healthy Schools Program is a project of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Any school can sign up to receive Healthy Schools Program resources and tools, at no cost. UPMC Children’s provides training and technical assistance to local schools that are interested in participating in the program.