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Parr’s Ridge Elementary School to Receive National Award for Health Education

Release Date: 12/7/2009 11:26:58 AM

Parr’s Ridge Elementary School is being recognized as part of the 2010 Blue Apple Health Education Award Program sponsored by the American Association for Health Education (AAHE). Parr’s Ridge is one of the two highest scoring schools in the nation. One of these schools will be selected to receive the Distinguished Honor Award. The awards program provides up to 12 schools with national recognition for their leadership and commitment in providing quality health education that promotes healthy behaviors and increased student learning for all students.


A review team will visit the school on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to noon to conduct an on-site review. In addition to observing physical education and health classes, the team will visit the K-2 classrooms and the school cafeteria to see how health education is integrated across the curriculum and throughout the school.


According to Dawn Rathgeber, Coordinator of Health Education, “Parr’s Ridge takes a true coordinated school approach to health education.” Throughout the school year, daily instruction incorporates areas of mental health, personal health, substance abuse prevention, growth and development, safety and injury prevention, nutrition, and disease prevention.


In health education, students engage in hands-on activities that connect the subject matter to real-life experiences. For example, kindergarten students use Germ Powder, a black light responsive substance, to learn the correct way to wash their hands. Students also have the opportunity to go outside to experience safety precautions and procedures by demonstrating how to safely play on the playground, ride a bike, and avoid dangers around water.


Kindergarten students explore personal hygiene products by creating a “personal health store.” In another activity, the health classroom turns into a restaurant, “Bacon’s Bistro”, which serves only healthy foods. Students exhibit proper table manners as the health teacher, Ashley Bacon, acts as the restaurant’s server.


The staff at Parr’s Ridge places an emphasis on healthy behaviors. There are no snack machines in the building and only healthy snack options are provided at staff meetings. All students receive twenty-five minutes of recess daily. Over the past three years, at least 70% of the staff has participated in school organized weight loss and challenges. More than 80% of students participated in Project ACES, a county-wide exercise initiative.


Each year the Blue Apple Health Education Awards Program recognizes school health education programs that demonstrate best practices and show coordination with other components of school health. The awards program recognizes schools that serve as models of excellence for others across the nation.

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