GUESWins 2017 Mississippi Healthiest School Award
The Grenada Upper Elementary School has been designated by the State Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Foundation as the Healthiest School in Mississippi! The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation's Healthy School Awards recognize and reward public schools with health policies and programs that promote healthy eating, physical activity, staff wellness, and tobacco-free lifestyles among students and staff, parents, and the community. As a result of this award, GUES will receive $50,000!
The goal of these awards is to motivate Mississippi schools as they create and maintain healthy school environments. Healthy schools help students achieve full academic potential and support them in developing life-long healthy behaviors. The Healthy School Awards assist schools in their efforts to make their schools, and ultimately our State, a healthier place to live.
Healthy nutrition and activity patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, physical and mental growth, lifelong health, and well-being. A healthy weight is also linked to reduced risk for many chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Effectively implemented school nutrition and fitness programs have been shown to enhance students' overall health, behavior, and academic achievement in school. Principal Carole Tharpe, author of the grant proposal, states, "What an honor to be acknowledged as the Healthiest School in Mississippi! We at Grenada Upper Elementary have been working diligently for several years to promote tl1e overall health and wellness of our students and staff. Research shows that improved health and fitness of students can bring many positive benefits: improved test scores, fewer absences, and fewer disciplinary incidents. More irnpo1tantly, we simply wanted to teach and encourage everyone at GUES to be a little healthier. We are thankful that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi has recognized our efforts in tllis area. The Foundation's generous financial reward will provide us witl1 a wonderful physical education classroom, a staff wellness area, state-of-the art water fountains, and bottle filling stations for our hallways."
GUES has set a goal for all GUES students to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food choices and enjoyable physical activity choices for a lifetime. In order to meet tllis goal, Grenada Upper Elementary adopted a School Wellness Policy with commitments to nutrition, physical activity, and comprehensive health education and implementation. This policy is designed to effectively utilize school and community resources and to equitably serve the needs and interests of all students and staff.
Congratulations to GUES for encouraging our students to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle!