LANSING, Mich. - In recognition of teachers, administrators, health champions, community members and students taking initiative to build healthier school environments, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is recognizing 28 Michigan schools for fostering healthy eating, physical activity habits and tobacco-free lifestyles, and impacting more than 14,000 students during the 2020-2021 school year.
"Recognizing these schools is more important than ever this year given the challenges we faced together," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "The schools being recognized today navigated challenges to go above and beyond to meet the critical health needs of growing children and youth through opportunities to participate in physical activity, nutritious school meals and snacks, and nutrition and health education in-person and remotely."
The Michigan School Wellness Award program is a collaboration with MDHHS, Michigan Department of Education, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition.
"Keeping children's bodies and minds strong through proper nutrition and exercise helps them stay focused in school to achieve academic and personal success," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "Wellness lessons learned at school and home can last a child's lifetime."
The Michigan School Wellness Award program aims to engage schools statewide in creating healthy environments by establishing School Wellness Teams, completing the Healthy School Action Tools, and implementing sustainable policy and environmental changes. Schools that have achieved all of these elements are recognized with the top-level Gold award.
This year's winners laud such achievements as offering health and physical education in both traditional and virtual settings and supporting school staff so they could be at their best for the students. The winners of this year's School Wellness Awards include:
Henry Ford II High School, Sterling Heights
To apply for the program, schools provide information about nutrition, physical education/activity and tobacco-free practices, and submit at least one success story.
To view school award winners and learn more about the School Wellness Award Program, please visit swa.mihealthtools.org/.
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