For Immediate Release: May 11, 2011
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
MONTPELIER – Principal Herve Pelletier expects to build an 8-foot by 40-foot climbing wall at Putney Central School as a reward for his 185 students earning a gold-level 2011 Vermont School Wellness Award.
“We’re obviously thrilled to win the award because health and fitness have always been a priority here,” Pelletier said. “We’re planning to build a low climbing structure with foam mats underneath, so two or more kids can climb at one time, and it will be appropriate for the younger kids as well.”
A total of 39 schools will be presented awards or banners by Gov. Peter Shumlin and Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan on Wednesday morning (10:30 a.m.) at the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier.
The awards are part of Fit & Healthy Kids, a statewide initiative to transform schools and communities into places where being active and eating healthy foods is easy. Creating safe routes to schools that encourage walking, cafeteria menus that entice children to “eat more colors,” physical activity “brain breaks” during classes, and quality physical education programs are a few of the ways schools are working to improve the overall health of Vermonters.
More than 150 students and school staff from 15 Vermont schools are expected to attend the awards ceremony and participate in the walk.
The event will include a walk with Gov. Shumlin and student speakers from Twinfield Union School, Shelburne Community School, and Lyndon Educational Alternative Resources Network, Inc. in Lyndonville.
Putney Central School, Shelburne Community School, and Middlebury Union High School won gold level awards in the elementary, middle and high school categories.
“We encourage physical activity throughout the day, and the teachers believe in it, we all believe in activity and good nutrition contributing to our wellness and our learning,” said Arlene Scott, RN, the school nurse for Putney Central School.
The Fit & Healthy School Wellness Awards are sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont's Action for Healthy Kids, the New England Dairy & Food Council, the Vermont Health Education Initiative (VEHI), and the Vermont Department of Education.
For more information about Fit & Healthy Kids visit healthvermont.gov.