Islandia, NY (PRWEB) April 26, 2013
The USDA established the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that create healthier school environments by providing nutrition education, nutritious food and beverage choices, physical education and opportunities for physical activity. This initiative is a main component in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, an effort to end the childhood obesity epidemic.
This recognition is the product of a joint effort between the CREC Arts Academy and Whitsons School Nutrition, food service providers at this school. Rhonda Bergeron, Food Service Director at the Arts Academy; Jeff Sidewater, Food Service Program Coordinator; Kim Stroud, Director of Arts; Caitlin Peters, Nutrition Education Coordinator; and Judy Niedzielski, School Nurse, were the main drivers of this initiative along with a team composed of a cross section of the CREC Arts Academy school community: members of the Parent Teacher Organization, teachers and administrators.
In order to qualify for the Bronze award, the school had to demonstrate it meets all the HUSSC nutritional requirements on an on-going basis, serving a variety of healthier food that appeal to the students, planning meals that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; and that include lean proteins and foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Furthermore, the school was required to prove its compliance with the physical activity and nutrition education criteria of the HUSSC according to age group.
With this award, the CREC Arts Academy reiterates its commitment to promoting a healthy school environment for its students. According to Jeff Sidewater, Food Service Program Coordinator, “We are pleased that Whitsons and the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School were able partner together in this initiative. This was a collaborative effort that nicely complemented our Connecticut State Department of Education Coordinated School Health Leadership Project. We hope that the healthy lifestyle concepts taught through this effort will continue to enrich the lives of our students.”
The award ceremony will take place on April 26th. A representative from the USDA will present a HealthierUS Bronze School banner, a commemorative plaque and a check for $500 to the schools.
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Whitsons Culinary Group provides a wide range of highly customized dining services to public schools, corporations and institutions, with a strong focus on nutritious, high quality menus made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. Whitsons has a long and proud history of excellence and growth since 1979 and currently ranks the 18th largest dining company in the United States (Food Management magazine, September 2012). Whitsons’ scope of expertise and services extends to: emergency dining, residential and healthcare dining, prepared meals, and school dining and services.
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The CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts is an interdistrict magnet high school that offers both full-day and half-day programs for students throughout Greater Hartford. For more than 25 years, the Arts Academy has focused on developing the fullest academic and artistic potential in all students, encouraging them to be creative, engaged citizens, and preparing them to pursue careers in the arts. Art classes are offered in creative writing/media arts, dance, inter arts, theater, technical theater, music (vocal and instrumental), musical theater and visual arts.