HEAL NH Selects Amherst Street Elementary School as 2014 ‘ED’ie Award Recipient 05.20.2014

Press Release

 

Contact:          Terry Johnson, Director

                        HEAL NH

Tel:                  (603) 415-4273

Email:              TJohnson@healthynh.com

HEAL NH Selects Amherst Street Elementary School as 2014 ‘ED’ie Award Recipient

School Prioritizes Access to Healthy Foods and Physical Activity as Integral to Robust Learning Environment

CONCORD – Amherst Street Elementary School in Nashua has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Healthy Eating Active Living NH ‘ED’ie Award.

As part of the HEAL ‘ED’ie Award, Amherst Street Elementary 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 7 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Amherst Street Elementary School, with an enrollment of 325 children in kindergarten through 5th grade, was cited for demonstrating a school environment that prioritizes access to healthy foods and physical activity to help keep students engaged throughout the day and become better learners, according to HEAL NH Director Terry Johnson.

“As an urban school with over 80% of students receiving free and reduced lunch and 40-50 families participating in the BackPack Food Pantry Program, the school, in partnership with the community, is playing a vital role in ensuring that students have every opportunity to be healthy and thrive,” said Mr. Johnson. “Effective collaboration among committed school leaders, faculty, staff, students, parents and community partners is a key reason why Amherst Street Elementary School received this year’s award.”

Schools from throughout the state – from kindergarten through 12th grade – were eligible for the HEAL ‘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.

“We are truly honored to receive this recognition from NH HEAL,” said Amherst Street Elementary School Principal Jennifer Scarpati. “Developing healthy citizens is a key part of our school mission statement. We strive to do this each day in all that we do. We have been lucky to pilot the WE CAN! Program this school year, which has allowed us to offer additional nutrition classes and wellness activities for our families, as well as expanding our CATCH Kids Club program in afterschool. Our success with this work should be accredited to our outstanding Wellness Committee members, our dedicated staff, our supportive parents, and our outstanding students. We have also been fortunate to form partnerships with many organizations throughout Nashua working towards this common cause, including the Nashua Public Health Department, The United Way of Greater Nashua, UNH Cooperative Extension, and Nashua’s Police Athletic League, among others. We look forward to continuing this work in the years to come.”

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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 HEAL NH can be found at www.healnh.org.