Pittsburgh Phillips earned the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2017 National Healthy Schools Bronze Award for making changes that promote healthier eating and physical activity for students and staff. They are the only school in the state of Pennsylvania this year to receive this award, and to be recognized as one of America’s healthiest schools.
Through a school-health partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, this award was granted to Pittsburgh Phillips 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.
“Receiving this award recognizes the changes we have been making as a school team to help further educate students, families, and staff on the importance of regular physical activity, good nutrition and making healthy lifetime choices, said Jen Bichler, health/physical education teacher at Pittsburgh Phillips. “As a school, we have been able to remove fundraisers associated with unhealthy foods and replaced it with one that is structured around physical activity. We have also been able to create indoor recess bags for inclement weather days to help keep kids moving even through the winter months.”
Pittsburgh Phillips is one of 54 Pittsburgh Public Schools that currently participate in the Healthy Schools Program. All schools made positive changes during the 2016 – 17 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.
“Pittsburgh Phillips is committed to creating a healthy school environment and is a role model for school health and wellness,” said Anne Marie Kuchera, Director, Children’s Community Health and Health Improvement Partnerships. “They identify and take advantage of opportunities to encourage healthy behaviors among youth, recognizing the value it brings to students both inside and outside the classroom.”
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.