Parkrose school wins State ‘Wellness Award’

See which one was the ONLY Portland-area elementary school to win this award – and what it means for the students who attend there …

At the only Portland-area school to be so-honored this year, guests and staff members of Sacramento Elementary School unfurl the banner designating them as winner of a 2010 Oregon School Wellness Award.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For the third year, the Oregon Department of Education has formally recognized outstanding school wellness programs. One of only three schools in Oregon to be named for this award this year was Sacramento Elementary School, in the Parkrose School District.

“On the state level, what we’ve done is identify, through a blue ribbon panel process, the schools that are doing an exceptional job with their ‘wellness policies’,” said Joyce Dougherty, Director, State of Oregon Child Nutrition Programs, before the award was announced to the school’s student body.

“Sacramento Elementary School is an example of a great school that includes nutritional education, physical activity, nutrition services, and involvement of the school community, as well as the students and parents, in wellness programs,” added Dougherty. “It looks at the whole school environment, in terms of wellness. We’re honoring schools that provide systemic promoting of healthiness in kids, to make it easier to become successful.”

Sacramento Elementary’s students listen, while they learn why their school was chosen for this State award.

At the April 28 unveiling of the award and the banner that will hang in the school’s gym, the school district’s Superintendent, Dr. Karen Gray, commented, “It’s important, in all of our schools, to promote programs, curricula, and activities that make for healthy bodies and healthy children. When our children are healthy and well, they’re at their school desks, and they’re learning well.”

As the school assembly began, Principal Stevie Blakeley told the students, “This is a special day for us here at Sacramento Elementary School. Thanks to all of you, your parents, and our staff. I am pleased to say we’re winning a great award.”

Sacramento School Counselor Claudia Sterry, Anne Goetze with the Oregon Dairy Council, Principal Stevie Blakeley, and Oregon’s Child Nutrition Programs Director Joyce Dougherty, all hold up the banner for the students to admire.

Blakeley introduced Anne Goetze, from the Oregon Dairy Council. “We are the sponsor of the award, and we provided your new banner. And, we’re happy to give the your school a check in the mount of $2,500, to help with your programs.”

After the brief program, Parkrose School District board member Alesia Reese pointed out, “It should noted that this award came about as a partnership of our Food Service Director Ellen Christensen, and our food service provider, Chartwells. This goal was achieved with the collaboration of a lot of different people. They all stepped up to the plate at every opportunity, to support the goals of the District.”

Showing off the 2010 Oregon Wellness Award certificate are Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, Sacramento Elementary Principal Stevie Blakeley, State of Oregon Child Nutrition Programs Director Joyce Dougherty, Anne Goetze of the Oregon Dairy Council, and Mary Larson, Director of Finance for the Parkrose School District.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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