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Schools honored for healthy practices

Six CMSD schools have won national awards for promoting exercise, nutrition and safety among students and staff.

Artemus Ward and Miles Park Schools received silver awards, the second-highest honor given in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's highly selective Healthy Schools Program.

Ginn Academy and Fullerton, Robert H. Jamison and Andrew J. Rickoff schools earned the third-highest honor, bronze. It is the third time that Ginn, the District’s all-male high school, has won a bronze award. Artemus Ward and Miles Park both won bronze awards in the 2014-15 school year.
CMSD’s Garrett Morgan High School received the top award -- gold -- last year. Previously, no school in Ohio had earned that honor and no CMSD school had achieved an award higher than bronze.

Nationwide, the Alliance recognized 322 schools for practices and policies maintained during the 2016-17 school year. The list includes 10 gold award winners, 47 silver and 265 bronze. Award winners met standards set by the Centers for Disease Control.

Strategies used during the past year at Miles Park included holding a health and wellness night in conjunction with spring parent-teacher conferences. More than 150 people attended an event that included fitness assessments for parents and students and a cook-off with healthy chili.

Parents filled out weekly nutrition logs that tracked the fruits and vegetables eaten by students. Staff set examples for students based on monthly themes or objectives – for example, drinking a gallon of water every day.

“We really worked on changing the culture to become a healthier place to be,” said LaTrice Shields, who teaches physical education at Miles Park. She has twice helped the school win a local fitness competition that measured how many steps they took and miles they traveled.

Artemus Ward School made sure that every student took physical education and, when possible, increased the amount of time devoted to the subject. A physical education teacher worked with students on structured activities at recess.

The school conducted a contest to increase the number of students eating breakfast at school and sent information to parents emphasizing the importance of breakfast.

Other measures included doing away with traditional bake sales, giving students physical activity breaks during class, offering yoga sessions for staff twice a month after school and organizing a walking club for students and parents.

“This is going to force us to be mindful, especially now that we have won the national award, that we have to live up to these expectations and continue to develop it,” Principal Christopher Myslenski said.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation started the Healthy Schools Program in 2006.

A new District wellness policy incorporates Healthy Schools Program standards to help schools vying for the awards. For detail on the standards schools must meet, check the Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices.