Hershey, Pa. (PRWEB) May 21, 2014 -- Milton Hershey School® (MHS) was recently awarded national recognition for its health and wellness initiatives from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The program, founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, supports schools that make specific changes to create a healthier environment for students.
The Healthier Generations award demonstrates the school’s commitment to preventing childhood obesity and to fostering the health of students and staff. The program includes a six-step process that focuses on policy and systems, school meals, competitive foods and beverages, health and physical education, as well as student and employee wellness programs. With guidance on these areas, the Alliance puts schools on the path to better health.
At MHS, health and wellness efforts have been ongoing to provide our students and staff the necessary tools to lead fulfilling, productive lives. In 2012, the school kicked off a new health and wellness initiative. In one year alone, 5 percent of the student body went from the unhealthy to healthy level, based on body mass index. While there is still work to be done, MHS continues to make progress and the outlook is positive for a healthier student body.
Along with menu revisions to incorporate low-salt, low-sugar, and low-fat meals and changes to the school's approach to student snacking, MHS has put greater emphasis on physical activity. Along with weekly required exercise for all students, MHS has hosted three community walks, several school-wide 5k runs, and numerous extra-curricular training programs.
It is also critical that the student body achieves the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the lasting effects of leading a healthier lifestyle. MHS partnered with the Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center to show a free community screening of the HBO production multi-part series addressing the national obesity epidemic, The Weight of the Nation.
As a residential school serving children from low-income families, MHS is committed to focus on health and wellness to ensure our students understand that pursuing a healthy lifestyle is a critical component of leading a successful, fulfilling and productive life. Recognition from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program helps to continue the school's mission to improve the lives of students now, and as adults.
ABOUT MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL
Milton Hershey School is a cost-free, private, coeducational home and school for children from families of low income. The school is funded by a trust established by Milton S. Hershey and his wife Catherine. Milton Hershey School offers a positive, structured home life year-round and an excellent pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade education. Our vision focuses on building character and providing children with the skills necessary to be successful in all aspects of life. Go to http://www.mhskids.org to learn more.
Keri Straub, Milton Hershey School, http://www.mhs-pa.org/, +1 (717) 520-2212, [email protected]