Oregon is one of the nation’s healthiest states when it comes to childhood obesity. Currently, 26.4 percent of children ages 10-17 in Oregon are considered overweight or obese. While this is better than all but a handful of states, it is still too high for the children of Oregon. To address the issue, more than 340 schools have joined the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program and are taking advantage of tools and resources available at no cost to help schools create a wellness council, start staff wellness programs, offer healthier foods and more physical activities.
The Healthy Schools Program recognizes that all schools are unique and there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to school health. As part of the Healthy Schools Program, every school creates an action plan that will work for their community. Many schools in Oregon have decided to work on employee wellness and 75 percent of participating schools have made improvements in this area.
In recognition of their efforts, many National Healthy Schools Awards have been presented to Oregon schools. In 2014, St. Paul Elementary was the only Oregon school that received the National Healthy School Bronze Award. Each recognized school has distinguished itself with healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies that meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program. These programs and policies include:
*Physical Fitness Education
*Teacher/Parent/Staff Fitness Friday Challenges
*Employee Wellness after school activities
*National School Lunch Program