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Elizabeth City

Northeastern High and J.C. Sawyer Elementary Schools Meet the HealthierUS School Challenge

Pasquotank County, NC ~ Northeastern High and J.C. Sawyer Elementary Schools are making national news by working to support and improve the health of our children and our community. As part of their effort, healthy items are featured on their menus and physical education and activity emphasized. Their efforts are part of the HealthierUS School Challenge.

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime. Schools, such as Northeastern and J.C. Sawyer, that champion the HUSSC work hard to make changes to their school nutrition environment in order to (1) improve the quality of the foods served, (2) provide students with nutrition education, and (3) provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.

Ultimately, FNS would like to see all schools receive a HUSSC award at any one of the four levels of superior performance: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Gold Award of Distinction. Schools awarded receive a monetary incentive (Bronze $500, Silver $1000, Gold $1500, and Gold Award of Distinction $2000), an award plaque signed by a USDA official, a banner to display in their school, and their name listed on the Team Nutrition Web site.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS. The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served in schools, outside of the organized school lunch meals. HealthierUS Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.
Northeastern High School qualified for the Gold level and J.C. Sawyer qualified for Bronze. USDA’s Steve Hortin, Deputy Director for Special Nutrition Programs for the USDA will visit both schools on January 31, 2013 to present the official awards. The assemblies are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, January 31, 2013 – 10:15 a.m.
Northeastern High School
963 Oak Stump Road
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Thursday, January 31, 2013 – 1:30 p.m.
J.C. Sawyer Elementary School
1007 Park Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

The HUSSC application process was led by Pam Hall, School Nurse for Northeastern High and J.C. Sawyer Elementary School. A team of school professionals reviewed the application which included Robin Taylor, Child Nutrition Director, Julie Gregory, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Darlene May, Cafeteria Manager, Elizabeth Allsbrook, Health and Physical Education Teacher and Leslie Otts, DPI Region 1 Child Nutrition Consultant. Special recognition is also due to the school nutrition staff at J.C. Sawyer and Northeastern High for their efforts in achieving school lunch menu changes. The physical education staff at Northeastern High should be recognized for working so well to achieve that 85% of all 11 and 12 grade students have taken a least 1 additional PE class leading to a HUSSC Gold award for Northeastern High and Bronze for J.C. Sawyer Elementary.

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Northeastern High School

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J.C. Sawyer Elementary School

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