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National Healthy Schools Award

A dozen Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools in Southern California receive the 2019 honor for promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and staff well-being

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Twelve Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools in Southern California rank among 355 schools recognized this year as America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation – an organization founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, working to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

All of America’s Healthiest Schools have earned National Healthy Schools Awards. This prestigious achievement celebrates schools that meet or exceed expert-recommended standards set by Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program for serving healthier meals and snacks; getting students moving more; offering high-quality health and physical education; and supporting staff wellness.

“Schools play a vital role in promoting the health and safety of children and teens. Healthy students are better learners, and academic success is a key indicator for the overall well-being of children. We congratulate the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools that received this national recognition for their commitment to encourage students, staff, and families to improve their eating and physical activity behaviors.”

-- Sandra Silva, director, Community Health, Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Wells Middle School in the Alvord Unified School District is the only Thriving School in Southern California to receive “Gold,” the highest level of recognition and 1 of only 8 schools nationally receiving gold in 2019.

“We are so proud of Wells Middle School and the culture of wellness they have created with the students, staff, and community,” said Eric Holliday, director, Child Nutrition Services and district wellness lead for Alvord Unified School District. “Wells has a focus on the long-term outcomes, and realizes that wellness and lifelong learning will help our students reach their unlimited potential.”

Carson Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District is the only Kaiser Permanente Thriving School in Southern California to receive Silver level recognition.

Additionally, the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Thriving Schools receiving the Bronze level recognition are:

Los Angeles Unified School District:

  • Audubon Middle School
  • Caroldale Learning Community STEAM Academy
  • Eastman Elementary School
  • Hazeltine Elementary School
  • Maywood Center for Enriched Studies Magnet
  • Tom Bradley Global Awareness Magnet Elementary School 
  • Young Empowered Scholars Academy Elementary School

San Diego Unified School District

  • Field Elementary School
  • Ocean Beach Elementary School
  • Rowan Elementary School

“I couldn't be more excited for Carson, Field, Ocean Beach, and Rowan elementary schools for being recognized as some of America's Healthiest Schools,” said Kate McDevitt, Wellness Program supervisor, SDUSD. “They have worked so hard to make meaningful health improvements for students, staff and families. I hope their dedication to wellness and creativity will inspire other schools to take similar steps in the coming year.”

Some of these improvements, McDevitt said, included:

Rewarding good attendance with AttenDANCE dance parties instead of food rewards
Designing playground stencils to increase physical activity
Working with parents to celebrate Staff Appreciation Week with healthier food and activity options

Will Celestine, the Wellness Program director for LAUSD, also commended his district winners, such as Caroldale Learning Community STEAM Academy.

“Caroldale exemplifies the true essence of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model,” Celestine said. “They have shown their commitment to providing health and wellness resources to students, staff, parents, and community members by making the healthy choice the easy choice. The recognition and accolades are an acknowledgement of Caroldale’s determination to fully implement our district’s Blueprint for Wellness Policy by building successful pathways for students to achieve academically, while learning to make healthy choices for lifelong health.”