2 Avoyelles schools named to 2019 list of America's Healthiest Schools

(KALB)
Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 9:06 PM CDT
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Extra effort in the cafeteria to the gym has landed two Avoyelles Parish schools on the 2019 list of America's Healthiest Schools.

"So, proud," said Avoyelles Parish School District Food Services Supervisor Jenny Welch. "We are really, really excited. There are great things happening here."

Cottonport Elementary and the Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences were two of 355 schools nationwide to earn the title. In fact, they were the only two representing Louisiana.

The Healthiest Schools list is put out by the organization, Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

"We were able to apply for this award based on our nutrition standards, our physical education standards and our staff wellness standards," Welch said.

Those standards now include a combination of initiatives like offering free meals, with five food groups.

"All snacks sold on campus are Smart Snack approved," Welch said. "All nutritional staff are trained to meet the USDA professional standards."

The schools also gathers a health advisory council to focus on new programs.

"Last year we focused on P.E. equipment, celebrations in the cafeteria," said Cottonport P.E. teacher Nick Joffrion.

Overall, he said it's a title all schools in the area could easily achieve.

"Most of the things are all low-cost solutions," Joffrion said. "It could be a school dance, it could be a positive behavior basketball team."

The award has reminded staff how important they are to students.

"We love our children," said Cottonport Cafeteria Manager Mona Bordelon. "We love to see them eat, we want to see them eat. We have a great staff that works together."

Welch hopes to see more schools qualify next year.

"I am a registered dietitian, so childhood obesity is close to my heart," Welch said. "So, if this movement can help in any small way with us encouraging healthy eating for these children now, and for the rest of their lives, that is definitely something I want to be a part of.

Visit the attached link for more information on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Copyright 2019 KALB. All rights reserved.

 Alliance for a Healthier Generation: www.healthiergeneration.org/