Five Aberdeen Schools were recognized for being among the healthiest in America.
“We were very excited to be recognized by a prestigious national organization that promotes wellness for students and their families,” Aberdeen Superintendent Becky Guffin said.
“We know that healthy bodies support healthy minds and we wanted to provide students with more than just academic support.”
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is an organization founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation that seeks to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits through serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Award-winning schools serve as examples of a nationwide movement to create healthier environments for kids and are recognized for:
- Meeting or exceeding updated federal nutrition standards for school meals, which include increased fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich items and meals lower in saturated fat;
- Offering school breakfast to their students every day;
- Meeting or exceeding snack and beverage requirements for the federal Smart Snacks in School standards;
- Implementing district wellness policies and report progress annually; and
- Providing students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure activity throughout the school day.
“We have made some very simple but significant changes with how we promote health and wellness with our students,” Guffin said.
“Changes have been made in District policies and practices that have made a positive impact on students that we hope will help them create life-long healthy habits.”
Each school building in Aberdeen has a staff representative that serves on the District’s Healthier Generation committee, along with the Assistant Superintendent, Food Service Director and a School Board member.
Individual schools implemented wellness activities, such as ramped up recess, walking or activity groups before school or during open periods and wellness activity nights, with student participation at all schools having seen a significant increase.
Aberdeen has participated in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, as well as the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, for the past three years. Each of the last two years the Fuel Up to Play 60 South Dakota Student Ambassador has been a student from Aberdeen.
Alexia Hoven of Holgate Middle School and Dustin Hermansen of Simmons Middle School had the opportunity to travel to a national summit where they picked up great ideas to bring back to the district to continue to enhance students’ wellness opportunities.
“The wellness activities that students and their families have engaged in will make a long-term positive impact now and into the future,” Guffin said.
“We’re excited about building upon our successes.”