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May 29, 2014

Health Department Recognizes School Wellness Winners

A 2nd grader at Samuel Morey Elementary School in White River Junction completed 24 laps (seven miles) around a quarter-mile track during one week of recess.

The school is one of 24 statewide that will receive $1,000 from the Vermont Department of Health as a School Wellness District Winner. The Health Department recognizes schools that promote at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day outside of physical education classes, and meet other criteria such as having an anti-tobacco policy and healthy food guidelines.

The awards program, given annually in partnership with the Agency of Education, New England Dairy and Food Council, and the Vermont Health Education Initiative was started in 2003 to transform schools and communities into places where healthy lifestyle choices are easy.

Any student at Samuel Morey who either walks or runs a total of eight laps each week is awarded a toe-shaped token that is attached to their shoelace. Participation among the youngest students has been close to 100 percent, according to Principal Gail Keiling.

Matt Acquilano, physical education teacher said, “Little toe tokens on your shoelaces have become a badge of honor.”

The school has also reached out to the neighboring community to promote lifelong sports. Lake Morey Resort, for example, buses students to the golf course each year for instruction from the club pro.

“It is amazing how fast they learn,” said Justin Bonnett, Lake Morey golf professional. “We see kids who have not had a chance to see the golf course and it really is quite special. We have a partnership with the school to promote golf and exercise, and it is heartwarming to see how excited they get. We are hopeful they will take up the game.”

2014 School Award Winners:

District Winners ($1,000)

Northfield Middle and High School

Union Elementary School - Montpelier

Mettawee Community School – West Pawlet

Molly Stark Elementary - Bennington

Jamaica Village School

Burlington High School

Richmond Elementary School

Ferrisburgh Central School

Mary Hogan School ID #4 - Middlebury

Hyde Park Elementary School

Lamoille Union High School/Lamoille Middle School/GMTCC

Coventry Village School

Newport City Elementary School

Barstow Memorial School

Neshobe School - Brandon

Green Mountain Union High School - Chester

State Street School - Montpelier

St. Albans City School

Rochester School

Samuel Morey Elementary – White River Junction

Stockbridge Central School

Thetford Academy

Westshire Elementary School

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Media Contact: Vermont Department of Health, Communication Office, 802-863-7281

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: May 29, 2014 14:50:00
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