This year’s class of Healthier US School Challenge Gold Award recipients includes cafeteria managers from 12 elementary schools in the Lafayette Parish School System who are successfully promoting a culture of healthy living — from eating to exercise — to students.

According to press release issued Monday by LPSS Director of Community Collaborations Angela Morrison, those 12 elementary schools to receive this year’s Gold Award of Distinction include:

• Broadmoor Elementary School
• Carencro Heights Elementary School
• Charles M. Burke Elementary School
• Duson Elementary School
• J. Wallace James Elementary School
• Katharine Drexel Elementary School
• Live Oak Elementary School
• Myrtle Place Elementary School
• Plantation Elementary School
• Praire Elementary School
• Ridge Elementary School
• Westside Elementary School

“Changing the school nutrition environment takes time, but these specific schools have worked diligently to help children eat healthier and be more physically active,” explains Morrison in a statement included with Monday's release. Only 66 schools in Louisiana have received the distinction, which represents the highest level of certification within the federal program.

According to the release, the Healthier US School Challenge:

[I]s a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The overall goal of the HUSSC is to identify schools that have made changes to not only improve the quality of the foods served, but also to provide students with nutrition education and opportunities for physical education and physical activity.

The 12 cafeteria managers to win this year’s award will be recognized during the school board’s next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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