ENID, Okla. —
Students at Hayes Elementary School were full of pride to be “one of a kind” Thursday when they celebrated being the only Oklahoma school to garner the Silver Award in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge.
Not surprisingly, the celebration included an exhibition of fancy jump-rope skills as students demonstrated some of the healthy activities they have learned along the way to being all-around healthier kids.
Mayor Bill Shewey stepped to the microphone to read a proclamation naming Thursday “Hayes Elementary School Day.”
“It’s got a lot of big words,” Shewey told the students as he held up the proclamation for them to see. “I might mispronounce some of them, but you can help me with them later.”
Shawn Hime, superintendent of Enid Public Schools, told students there are 1,800 schools in Oklahoma.
“You beat 1,799 schools,” Hime said. “I’d say that makes you the state champions.”
Nicole Zammit, nutritionist in the USDA’s child nutrition division, told the students they should thank their lucky stars they have great teachers.
“Of 101,000 schools throughout the United States, only 5 percent took on the challenge and conquered it,” Zammit said.
Zammit presented the school with a plaque from the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Zammit also gave the school a $1,000 check for reaching the Silver Award level.
Jane Johnson, Hayes principal, said the school made a four-year commitment to participate in the challenge.
Not only did the school change its mealtime offerings, physical activity was emphasized and nutritional instruction has been done in the classrooms.
According to the USDA website, HUSSC is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004, to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.
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