Longview Public Schools’ efforts to encourage physical fitness and healthy eating among students and staff have resulted in multiple awards this fall districtwide.

A 2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award—part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative—has been awarded to:

Elementary school students play a game outside with a ball.

  • Cascade Middle School
  • Columbia Heights Elementary School
  • Columbia Valley Gardens Elementary School
  • Kessler Elementary School
  • Mark Morris High School
  • Mint Valley Elementary School
  • Monticello Middle School
  • Mt. Solo Middle School
  • Northlake Elementary School
  • Olympic Elementary School
  • Robert Gray Elementary School
  • St. Helens Elementary School

R.A. Long High School received the same recognition in 2015 and is eligible to apply again in 2017.

Additionally, Mark Morris High School is one of two Washington schools recognized with a 2016 National Healthy Schools Bronze Award by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

“I think the buildings have really good supportive staff and administrators who let us promote these things in terms of healthy environments,” said Lisa Kloke, district physical education coordinator. “It takes a collaboration of the entire staff in a building to make these things possible for our kids.”

The Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award celebrates the commitment of schools to provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after school each day. Award winners must have met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education, physical activity before and after school, physical activity during school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is a national initiative designed to combat childhood obesity by implementing healthy changes within the school environment. It recognizes schools that succeed at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

The Bronze Award recognizes Mark Morris’ commitment to follow district policy to provide healthier food selections in vending machines and the student store; to provide opportunities for students to be physically active before, during and after school; to promote health and wellness to staff through physical activity events and healthy potlucks; and to install water bottle filling stations to increase access to drinking water.

Kloke said not all students have access to healthy foods at home or access to places to exercise.

“We say, ‘Here are some things you can do to help you live a healthier lifestyle,’ because eating healthy foods and exercising are going to make them feel better and help them go places in life,” she said.