La Porte ISD's Jennie Reid Elementary School was recognized for earning the prestigious HealthierUS School Challenge Silver Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service during a ceremony at the school on April 21.
Sheldon Gordon, nutritionist with the USDA in Dallas, presented a plaque to the school in recognition of this achievement. Gordon also presented members of the district and campus nutrition services staff with medals. Only 15 school districts in Texas have received HealthierUS School Challenge Awards since the program began.
The celebration began with a welcome from Dan Eubank, Jennie Reid principal, as well as remarks by Isela Montes, LPISD executive director of elementary education, and Yvonne Bennett, LPISD director of nutrition services. Students performed a song about nutrition as well as a skit about making wise food choices and participating in physical activity.
Bennett explained that USDA recognized the school's efforts to earn the Silver Award by meeting stricter nutrition and menu guidelines, offering physical education a minimum of 45 minutes weekly and incorporating nutrition education in the curriculum.
The Jennie Reid cafeteria staff increased the number of servings of whole grain items, added more orange and dark green vegetables and offered at least one cup of beans and peas weekly. Jennie Reid exceeded the physical education requirement by offering P.E. 30 minutes every day and demonstrated its use of the Healthy and Wise program to teach nutrition education in the classroom.
The district received a congratulatory letter from First Lady Michelle Obama and was presented with a $1,000 award by the Texas Department of Agriculture.