For Immediate Release: March 23, 2012
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
LONDONDERRY – Students getting off the bus at Floodbrook Union School in Londonderry, Vt., a rural school that serves four towns near the Green Mountain National Forest, are directed to a small incline of steps up to a recently-constructed, quarter-mile, hard-packed trail.
One morning each week, students are asked to walk around the trail before heading into school, and encouraged to use the path as often as possible to spur physical activity during free time.
The building of the trail and its support by the community was a key reason Floodbrook Union School will receive a $5,000 Fit and Healthy Kids School Wellness Award as the “Most Improved” school in the state.
The school also revamped its food program by offering homemade breads sauces, soups, and purchasing maple syrup and grass-fed beef from a local farm.
“The community, administration, cafeteria manager, and physical education teacher all came together as a critical mass of people who were on board with creating healthier options,” said Ann Alford, chair of the school wellness committee. “We’re using the award to expand the trails and raise awareness. We have been encouraging the students to walk as long as there is no snow or rain, we have enough snow shoes for an entire class, and we want to try cross country skiing as well.”
Gold level winners in the elementary school (Northwest Primary, Rutland), Middle School: (Main Street Middle, Montpelier); and High School (Chelsea Public School) categories were also announced by the Health Department on March 7. The awards are sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, Department of Education, New England Dairy and Food Council and the Vermont Health Education Initiative (VEHI). The awards are funded by the Health Department and VEHI.
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