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For Immediate Release: Nov. 24, 2008
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Schools get $5,000 for commitment to student health

Three South Dakota schools and one school district have been selected as winners of Governor Rounds’ Healthy School Awards. Each will receive a $5,000 award.

This year’s winners are Knollwood Elementary School in Rapid City, Mitchell Middle School, Mitchell High School and Brandon Valley School District.

“The Governor’s Healthy School Awards provide recognition for leadership in the area of school health,” said Kari Senger, co-director of the Coordinated School Health Program, which oversees the award process. “These schools are taking very thoughtful, calculated steps to improve the overall health of their students and school community, and we commend them for their efforts.”

According to Senger, winning schools are chosen for their efforts in areas such as health education, physical education, family and community involvement, school-based nutrition programs, health services, healthy school environment and counseling services.

One of Brandon Valley School District’s initiatives included a health fair that drew 1,600 people. It included a volleyball game between school administrators and the high school volleyball team. Staff also participated in a dance competition. Food vendors were available to show families what new and healthy items are available through the school lunch program, and parents and students provided input for future menu items.

At the Mitchell Middle School, students participated in taste tests, which have resulted in the addition of kiwi, strawberries, grapes, grapefruit, pears and spinach to the regular menu.

Governor Rounds’ Healthy School Award winners are chosen at four levels: elementary school, middle school/junior high, high school and school district. In addition to the cash prize, winners receive a banner to display at their schools.

Finalists for the awards receive a plaque. This year’s finalists are Arlington Elementary School, Colman-Egan Middle School, Colman-Egan High School and Eureka School District.