Gov. Rounds will award healthy schools

Gov. Rounds will award healthy schools Gov. Mike Rounds announced Feb. 17 a challenge to South Dakota school districts and schools to compete for a $5,000 award and a banner, as an effort to spotlight the importance of healthy practices in local schools, especially in the areas of health education, nutrition and physical education. One school district and three schools will be awarded.

"The Healthy School awards will let folks know which schools in our state pay attention to the health of their students and staff," said Rounds. "Obesity sets the stage for life-long health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I want to reward schools that are doing a good job in the areas of nutrition, health and physical education, as well as increased physical activity during the school day."

Schools selected for the awards will serve as models for other schools throughout the state. The awards are available in four categories: elementary, middle school/junior high, high school, and district-wide.

"The governor's emphasis on health in schools is very timely," said Dr. Rick Melmer, Secretary of Education. "It highlights the need to take a comprehensive look at the entire school program, including the areas of nutrition of school lunches.

and the amount of physical activity that students and staff get throughout the school day. Updated health and physical education curricula are important, too. Healthy students learn better."

Exemplary schools that want to compete for the award can request an application from Coordinated School Health, South Dakota Department of Education, 700 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2291, e-mail janet.ricketts@state.sd.us, (605)-773-3261, fax (605) 773-3782. Applications are due April 30. Winners will be announced next fall, and two finalists at each level will receive recognition plaques.

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