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National Recognition for Nutrition Program

posted Jul 20, 2010, 9:47 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Feb 7, 2011, 11:31 AM by Web Admin ]

Willamina Elementary School Awarded National Recognition for Nutrition Program

By Susan Castillo

United States Department of Agriculture official Allen Ng visited Willamina Elementary School in Willamina Oregon last week to honor the elementary school with a National Healthier School Challenge Award. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) program to recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through the promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.

I am proud of Willamina Elementary for their dedication to establishing a healthy school environment for their students. Willamina recognizes the link between health and education and demostrated their commitment through an extraordinary cooperation between food service, teaching staff, administrators, and students. They have exceeded standards by providing healthier food choices, nutrition education, and physical activity to students and have earned this national recognition by creating a world-class school nutrition program. We know that healthy students learn better and physical health is a crucial component for academic achievement.

I applaud Willamina Elementary for their leadership and encourage other schools to explore the many partnerships and opportunities available in Oregon to support this work. The Healthy Kids Learn Better program is a partnership led by specialists from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Department of Human Services - Health Services, in collaboration with other health and education organizations aimed at supporting health-related school programs.

Every year, I honor Oregon schools with outstanding school wellness programs. The schools recognized have effectively implemented their district’s wellness policies, are creatively promoting healthy student behavior, and are monitoring and evaluating their programs to meet all student needs. These schools all have strong child nutrition programs to promote learning readiness and healthy eating behaviors. For more information Oregon School Wellness awards and how to nominate your school go to:

PHOTO CAPTION: (left to right) Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Program Director Joyce Dougherty, Willamina student, and US Department of Agriculture Western Regional Administrator Allen Ng share a healthy lunch.