School Wellness Award Winners and Fit & Healthy Kids Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles

For Immediate Release:  May 11, 2010
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON - Discarded vending machines, a food committee and a walking club are three of the reasons the Fair Haven Town School will receive a School Wellness Award on Wednesday, May 12, on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

A total of eight schools will receive awards during the Vermont Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Intergenerational Wellness Walk.

Fair Haven's school nurse Eileen Munger described the absence of vending machines at the school as a process that occurred "bit by bit."

"We completely got rid of the soda machines, and went to better beverages such as water, green tea, juice and milk - then we went to water only - and now we have no vending machines," Munger said. "I think when soda went out there was a bigger impact on some of the faculty, but the kids have not complained at all."

Fair Haven School will be one of only three schools to earn a "Gold" wellness award presented by Gov. Jim Douglas and Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. The Danville School and the Academy School in Brattleboro also earned Gold level recognition for initiatives that included using heart rate monitors to inform students how hard they are working out during physical education class, and not serving fried food.

Individual students who participated in the six-week Fit & Healthy Kids Winter "Stretch Your Limits" Challenge will also receive awards for activities that included moonlight hikes, pulling a sibling around in a sled, building a snowman, and "carrying a whole lot of wood."

The Fit & Healthy Kids initiative was established by Gov. Douglas in 2003 as a way to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity.

The school wellness awards are sponspored by Vermont's Action for Healthy Kids, the New England Dairy & Food Council, the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Education.

Speakers at the event are Gov. Douglas, Dr. Davis, Nancy Heydinger, executive director of Girls on the Run Vermont, and Andrew Newell, a cross country skier who competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

For more information about Fit & Healthy Kids and a full list of the award winning schools, visit: http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit_healthykids.aspx.

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