Luther School Celebrates National Healthy Schools Award

Friday, April 27, 2012
By Allyson Hagen

Luther School Celebrates National Healthy Schools Award
Small School First in Montana to Receive Gold Award with Distinction

Luther, MT - Luther School improved on their previously earned Silver HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) certification to become the first school in Montana to receive the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold with Distinction Award in recognition of its outstanding commitment to student health.  The Gold Award with Distinction is the highest level possible for this national award. Luther School will receive a $2,000 monetary award from the United States Department of Agriculture for their success. 

Said Superintendent Juneau, "Healthy students are better prepared for success in the classroom. Luther School is helping students develop healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime."

Luther School, a small school with 30 students, is one of thirteen schools in Montana to receive a HUSSC award since 2006.  The HealthierUS School Challenge program recognizes schools that are creating healthy environments by promoting excellence in nutrition and physical activity. 

Luther’s school menu features colorful, healthy items prepared from scratch using fresh, local foods.   Amy Russell, the School Food Service Director, does it all--from creating the monthly menu, to trying new recipes, grocery shopping, serving meals and cleaning up.  Luther students enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, lean protein choices and whole grain foods daily. 

Janis Eckert, Luther’s Lead Teacher, states, "Healthy eating habits are the foundation for an optimum learning environment. It is wonderful that the parents, students, and staff are recognizing the multiple benefits associated with a nutritious lunch program. We, as a school community, are proud to be the first in Montana to obtain this goal."

Opportunities for physical activity are woven into all areas of the curriculum, not just physical education class.  Students participate in lifetime activities such as downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, walking and bicycling. 

The rigorous HUSSC application process was led by a local dietitian and School Wellness Committee Member, Therese Picasso Edwards, the School Food Service Director, Amy Russell, with support from Lead Teacher Janis Eckert and other Wellness Committee Members including Barbara Dykema and Margie Adams.

Montana Office of Public Instruction officials will present the award to Luther School on Friday, April 27th, 2012 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm and participate in a school-wide celebration.  Parents and community members are invited to attend the award celebration. 


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