A record 461 schools, from 26 states and the District of Columbia, were recognized today as “America’s Healthiest Schools” by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national organization that empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.
America’s Healthiest Schools earned the distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality health and physical education, and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models. The schools, 81 percent of which serve high-need populations, also receive Healthier Generation’s National Healthy Schools Award at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, based on the standards they achieve.
All of the award-winning, America’s Healthiest Schools:
- Meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks
- Offer breakfast daily
- Implement district wellness policies and update progress annually
- Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure physical activity throughout the school day
“The most important investments we can make are those that support kids’ health and education,” said Brian Weaver, Chief Program Officer at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “We applaud these 461 award-winning schools for finding creative ways to keep all kids active, eating healthy and engaged in learning while setting them on a path to lifelong health.”
America’s Healthiest Schools are all participants in Healthier Generation’s landmark Healthy Schools Program—one of the nation’s largest school-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives—which has worked with more than 42,000 schools serving over 25 million students since 2006.
“America’s Healthiest Schools all recognize that when we prioritize children’s health, we increase their chances of excelling in school and beyond,” said Monica Hobbs Vinluan, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has supported the Healthy Schools Program since its inception. “Every child—particularly those from low-income families or struggling communities—deserves to attend a school that is committed to both their overall health and academic success. That commitment will help all kids reach their full potential.”
Healthier Generation’s work with award-winning schools is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The JPB Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Target Enterprise, Inc., Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and the Missouri Foundation for Health.
The America’s Healthiest Schools campaign, an annual celebration of the award-winning schools, is sponsored in part by Novo Nordisk.
To view the complete list of America’s Healthiest Schools, visit HealthiestSchools.org.
Want to stay up to date on news pertaining to healthy food choices in schools? Click here to access our toolkit and to sign up for the Voices for Healthy Kids Smart Snacks Action Team!