Two School Districts Earn Governor's Healthy School Awards

Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced Tuesday that Dighton and Greeley County School Districts earned Healthy School Awards as part of the HealthyKansas initiative.

“These school districts have shown leadership in teaching young people healthy behaviors,” Sebelius said. “By creating an educational culture that includes physical activity, good nutrition, and an avoidance of tobacco products, students and teachers in these communities make a significant contribution to a healthier Kansas.”

Recognition ceremonies were held at Tuesday morning at the Greeley County High School, Tribune, and Tuesday afternoon at Dighton High School, Dighton. Each school in these districts will receive a certificate of recognition from the governor and a HealthyKansas flag.

Both school districts are members of the Coordinated School Health Program, jointly administered by the Kansas Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Examples of the districts’ efforts include:
·Implementing a tobacco-free policy for the district;
·Developing a staff wellness program with 50 percent staff participation, resulting in weight loss, personal goal accomplishments, and overall increases in personal health;
·Conducting physical education programs in grades K-6 including students walking one-mile twice weekly during the school year;
·Teaching nutrition good practices to more than 130 students through the Power Panther program;
·Organizing family fitness fun nights; and
·Promoting vending machines with healthy food choices.

Governor Sebelius launched the HealthyKansas initiative in November 2004 as a comprehensive effort to control health care costs, improve the quality of health care, and raise awareness of the dangers of obesity in children and adults.

Healthy Kansas is focused on encouraging Kansans to make simple, but powerful lifestyle changes, including:
-Increasing physical activity to 30 minutes a day, five to six times each week;
-Eating healthy, including eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily;
-And avoiding tobacco use.

To learn more about how you can make healthy changes or to complete an online pledge, log onto www.healthykansas.org.