Prince George’s schools recognized for anti-obesity efforts

At Arrowhead Elementary School in Prince George’s County, teachers and other staff members drink vegetable and fruit smoothies each day.

The students at Clinton Grove Elementary School play basketball, jump rope and use Hula-Hoops before and after school.

And at Springhill Lake Elementary School, there are weekly cooking and gardening classes and a parent workshop on whole grain bread making.

The Prince George’s schools were acknowledged by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, earlier this week for the activities and work they do to fight childhood obesity.

Arrowhead, Clinton Grove and Springhill Lake were among 267 schools across the country, including 17 other schools from Prince George’s County, that were recognized for their efforts to improve the overall health of the students and staff.

“We applaud the achievements of our 2013 honorees,” Howell Wechsler, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, said in a statement. “Their successful efforts to get students and staff eating better and moving more prove that schools are great environments to promote both health and academics.”

James Richardson, the principal at Buck Lodge Middle School, said focusing on health and wellness has had an impact on students and staff.

“We saw a change in the learning culture,” Richardson said. “Students were excited about coming to school. Attendance increased, Disciplinary problems decreased. Their level of engagement increased. They just had fun.”

Richard said Buck Lodge added enrichment courses that offered physical activity, including yoga, Zumba, soccer, and running clubs.

The other schools that were recognized by the Alliance were: Beacon Heights Elementary School, Deerfield Run Elementary School, Francis Scott Key Elementary School, Glenridge Elementary School, High Bridge Elementary School, Hillcrest Heights Elementary School, Hollywood Elementary School, John Hanson French Immersion School, Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School, Kenilworth Elementary School, Kenmoor Elementary School, Lamont Elementary School, Tanglewood Regional School, Valley View Elementary School and Walker Mill Middle School, and Samuel Ogle Middle School.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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