Pittsburgh Brashear Wins National Healthy Schools Award

Pittsburgh Brashear earned the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2016 National Healthy Schools Bronze Award for making changes that promote healthier eating and physical activity for students and staff.

Through a school-health partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, this award was granted to Pittsburgh Brashear by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, an evidence-based national initiative to reduce the prevalence of childhood weight problems through the implementation of healthy changes within the school environment. The Alliance recognizes schools that succeed in meeting evidence-based standards for school health.

“This award demonstrates our school’s commitment to promoting the health of our students and staff”, said Megan Perfetti, a Pittsburgh Brashear health educator and the district’s lead for health and physical education. “Our school has implemented an elective-based physical education model where students choose the classes they would like to participate. We also started a class where youth who have special needs are partnered with more physically-abled kids to increase physical activity. Before and after-school activities and fundraising are now aligned with healthy standards, and school staff are also on-board with following healthy eating guidelines and taking advantage of opportunities to be physically active both before and after the school day.”

Pittsburgh Brashear is one of eighteen Pittsburgh Public Schools that currently participate in the Healthy Schools Program.  All schools made positive changes during the 2015 – 16 school year such as improving access to healthier foods, increasing physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day, enhancing nutrition education, and encouraging staff wellness to build a healthier school environment.

“We are thrilled with the success of Brashear and other participating Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the steps they are taking to create healthier environments for young people,” said Anne Marie Kuchera, Project Director, Children’s Community Benefit Initiatives and Healthy Schools Program. “Over 30,000 schools nationally participate in the Healthy Schools Program, and Brashear is one of a fraction of schools that received this recognition.”

School is the place where kids spend most of their time, making schools one of the most important environments to support and promote child and adolescent health.  A healthy school is vital to preparing students for success. Healthy students attend school more often and perform better academically.

The Healthy Schools Program is a project of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was co-founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

Any school can sign up to receive the support of the Healthy Schools Program resources and tools, at no cost. Children’s Hospital provides training and technical assistance to local schools that are interested in participating in the program. To learn more about the Healthy Schools Program, contact annemarie.kuchera@chp.edu or visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation at www.schools.healthiergeneration.org.