SEVERAL CLARKSTOWN SCHOOLS HONORED FOR FIGHTING CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Several Clarkstown schools: Bardonia, West Nyack and Woodglen Elementary schools, Felix Festa Middle School, and Clarkstown High School South, received a Bronze National Healthy School Award for transforming their campuses into healthier schools for students and staff. These schools are five of only 250 schools nationwide to receive an award. The awards were given on September 13 in Washington, DC by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation to reduce childhood obesity, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To earn national recognition, the schools improved their nutrition services and physical activity programs to meet or exceed strict standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.

Several years ago, the Rockland County Department of Health brought the Alliance to the County as a resource to Rockland schools, as part of its Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative. By providing ongoing technical assistance, the Alliance worked with the Clarkstown schools to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity. These changes included creating a fitness club and walking paths, organizing 5K races and after school yoga, creating a staff softball team, educating students about healthy snacks, and educating staff about the positive impact of student fitness and healthy nutrition on academic success. “We congratulate the award winners for a job well done. One of the roles of the Health Department is to bring resources to the County to empower residents and improve health outcomes. Additional obesity prevention programs overseen by the Health Department include working with employers and corner stores, promoting farmers’ markets, and leading weight loss and disease management groups,” said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County commissioner of Health.

For more information about Health Department obesity prevention and physical activity programs contact the Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention at 845-364-2500 or visit www.rocklandgov.com/health.