South Side school makes the grade for student health
Phillips Elementary School on Pittsburgh’s South Side made the grade this year for healthy students.
In fact, the K-5 school, a magnet school in the Pittsburgh Public School District, was the only one in Pennsylvania that the Alliance of a Healthier Generation honored this year as one of America’s Healthiest Schools.
The Alliance, founded as a joint project of the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, launched the healthy schools project in 2006 as a response to the growing epidemic of obesity among American children. Alliance officials said 950 Pennsylvania schools serving more than 558,000 children have signed on to the program.
Phillips was among 323 schools in 30 states that won the America’s Healthiest Schools title this year.
To be considered for the title schools had to meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks, offer breakfast daily, implement a wellness program and provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education a week.
While Phillips stood alone among Pennsylvania schools this year, the organization wants to add to the number next year. When school starts this month, Healthier Generation and its partners will launching a campaign to celebrate America’s Healthiest Schools and encourage more schools in Pennsylvania, where experts estimate one in four children carry excess weight, to join the program.