Hillis One of Ten DMPS Schools Recognized by HealthierUS School Challenge
Hillis Elementary School is making news and realizing success through their work to support and improve the health of our children and our community. As part of their effort, healthy items are featured on their menus and physical education and activity are emphasized. Hillis is one of ten Des Moines schools being recognized by a federal program for their success.
The initiative at Hillis is part of the HealthierUS School Challenge, a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime. Schools, such as Hillis, that champion the HUSSC work hard to make changes to their school nutrition environment in order to (1) improve the quality of the foods served, (2) provide students with nutrition education, and (3) provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
Hillis was honored for their success this week with the Healthier US School Challenge Silver award. The recognition includes a $1,000 award along with a plaque and banner to display at the school.
Hillis is not alone in being recognized for their work at improving the health and nutrition of students. Nine other DMPS schools will also be receiving HealthierUS School Challenge awards this year: Brubaker, Garton, Jefferson, Lovejoy, Monroe, Stowe, Studebaker, Windsor, and Wright elementary schools.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS. The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served in schools, outside of the organized school lunch meals. HealthierUS Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.