All 3 Northfield Elementary Schools meet the HealthierUS School Challenge

Bridgewater Elementary School, Greenvale Park Elementary School and Sibley Elementary School in Northfield, MN are making national news by working to support and improve the health of our children and our community.

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 to take a leadership role in helping students make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.  Schools, such as Bridgewater Elementary School, Greenvale Park Elementary School and Sibley Elementary School, 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 the 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.

Bridgewater Elementary, Greenvale Park Elementary and Sibley Elementary qualified for the silver award.  Minnesota Department of Education’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Kara Mitterhotzer, Team Nutrition Leader, and Deb Lukkonen, Supervisor, will visit the Northfield Public Schools on Friday, February 22, 2013 to present the official awards. The HUSSC celebrations will occur at the following times at each school location:

Sibley Elementary-8:00 am in the school cafeteria

Greenvale Park Elementary-9:30 am in the school gym

Bridgewater Elementary-7:00 pm in the school gym

The HUSSC application process was led by Pam Haupt, Child Nutrition Director for Northfield Public Schools. A team of school professionals including the child nutrition managers, school nurses, physical education teachers, classroom teachers, curriculum coordinator and a Team Nutrition Consultant all contributed to the application process.  Special recognition is due the child nutrition staff for their efforts in achieving school lunch menu changes and implementations over the past three years leading to the HUSSC silver award.