HEAL NH Selects Reeds Ferry School as 2013 ‘ED’ie Award Recipient (5/28/13)

Press Release


Date:               5/28/13

Contact:          Terry Johnson, Director

                        HEAL NH

Tel:                  (603) 415-4273

Email:              TJohnson@healthynh.com


HEAL NH Selects Reeds Ferry School as 2013 ‘ED’ie Award Recipient

Exemplary School Makes Healthy Eating and Physical Activity and Integral Part of "The Environment Students See Every Day"

CONCORD – Reeds Ferry School in Merrimack has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Healthy Eating Active Living NH ‘ED’ie Award.

As part of the HEAL ‘Ed’ie Award, Reeds Ferry School received $500 to support its work promoting healthy eating and active living. The school will also be recognized during the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards Program – also known as the “ED’ies” – on June 8 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Reeds Ferry School, with an enrollment of 540 children in pre-school through 4th grade, was cited for demonstrating a healthy school environment that keeps students engaged throughout the day and helps them to become better learners, according to HEAL NH Director Terry Johnson.

"It is vital that we strengthen schools as the heart of health for our children, because up to one-half of children’s waking hours are spent in school,” said Mr. Johnson. “Reeds Ferry School is successful because it has engaged students, staff, parents and the entire community in its efforts to create healthier choices for both students and staff,” he added.

Schools from throughout the state – from kindergarten through 12th grade – were considered for the ‘ED’ie Award, which is based on criteria that promotes healthy eating and active living environments for students and staff. Healthy eating criteria include strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided throughout the school day and integration of nutrition education into curriculum. Active living criteria include regular opportunities for physical activity such as a strong physical education program complemented by regular “movement breaks” offered in the classroom, along with recess before lunch.

During a recent visit to the school, HEAL ‘ED’ie panelists experienced firsthand the results of the school’s commitment to healthy eating and active living as students in a 4th grade classroom took a pause from lessons to lead them through a “movement break” routine. Afterwards panelists were led on a tour of two courtyard gardens planted by students, two well-equipped playgrounds, each designed for different age groups, and an onsite nature trail accessible to students, staff and the community.

Reeds Ferry School principal Kimberly Yarlott credited the ongoing commitment of staff members to creating a healthy school environment. In particular, she commends the members of the Wellness Committee, chaired by Miss Hansberry a kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Morgan the school nurse, for their seriousness of purpose. “The Wellness Committee spearheads many school-wide events, all of which focus on promoting healthy lifestyles for students and staff. We believe in the correlation between personal wellness and achievement; our goal is to create and maintain a positive, healthy and safe learning community,” said Principal Yarlott.

About HEAL NH: The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) NH campaign began in 2008 and is led by the Foundation for Healthy Communities, a non-profit New Hampshire organization focused on improving health and health care through innovative partnerships. HEAL is supported by a collaboration of foundations and state agencies committed to promoting health and wellbeing for all New Hampshire residents. Funding is provided by HNH Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Endowment for Health, NH Charitable Foundation, and the NH Department of Health and Human Services. More information about the HEAL NH Campaign can be found at www.healnh.org.