ROSELLE, NJ - Roselle's Charles C. Polk Elementary School has been nationally recognized for its efforts to make the school a healthier place for students and staff. 

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, based in Portland, Ore., is handing Polk Elementary its 2015 Bronze National Healthy Schools Award for its ongoing efforts to raise awareness about healthy eating and exercise. The award showcases and acknowledges schools that have implemented changes to create healthier school environments.

"This is a wonderful honor. The entire Polk team is worthy of the highest praise," said Dr. Kevin West, superintendent of Roselle Public Schools. "Our students and staff continue to do remarkable things.”

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The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the American Heart Association, working to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance partners with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to lead a healthier generation.

"We are thrilled to receive this award," said Andrea Harry, principal of Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School. "In the past year, we've placed an emphasis on the practical implementation of healthy living."

Harry, herself a former physical education teacher, said, “Educating our students about the daily steps they can take for good nutrition and fitness is among the most important thing we can do as educators." 

Among the initiatives implemented at Polk Elementary include inserting short physical activity breaks between lessons, having a certified physical education teacher, following curriculum guidelines, teaching all physical education classes, and having physical activities encouraged and incorporated into other subject lessons.

Archange Antoine, President, Roselle Board of Education, said: “Healthy eating is a major component of academic success.

“These types of awards acknowledge a district-wide culture to improve the health and wellbeing of all students. We wear this badge with pride and want to set the example for the entire Roselle community.”

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program reaches more than 14.5 million students in more than 24,000 schools across the nation. The schools are meeting and exceeding federal requirements regarding school nutrition. Perhaps most important is the fact that students who attend these schools, if given the option to eat healthier foods, are responding by eating them.

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