Lovettsville Elementary School garnered some major kudos this month when it was named one of America’s healthiest schools.
The rural Loudoun school won two national awards for its efforts to encourage kids to get moving. It won the 2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2016 National Healthy Schools SILVER Award.
Led by physical education teacher Hugh Brockway, classroom teachers at Lovettsville Elementary have incorporated movement in the classroom throughout the school day. Students are offered a variety of physical activity choices to help burn off the extra energy and refocus on the lessons being taught.
Classrooms have yoga ball chairs, crafted by Brockway, as well as bicycle peddlers and bungee bands under students’ desks that they can use throughout the day. Teachers also frequently lead in-class physical activity breaks by playing music, games or web-based apps like GoNoodle.com.
Brockway also started a morning running club that invites students to come off the bus and jog or walk for 15 minutes before heading into the classroom. The school also formed a student wellness team that meets regularly with Brockway to implement school-wide “Healthy Eating and Physical Activity” plays from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
Brockway said making Lovettsville Elementary a healthy school was a team effort. Teachers and administrators were eager to introduce some of Brockway’s ideas to keep kids active and eating healthy.
“It just shows how much the classroom teachers and principals are committed to doing what’s best for the kids—making sure they’re healthy and comfortable and ready to learn,” he said.
He also commended the school system’s Nutrition Services Department for providing healthful food options for students in the cafeteria, which helped make the award possible.
The Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. Lovettsville Elementary was one of 544 schools in the U.S. to receive the award, which celebrates schools that provide students with at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity, whether before, during or after school. To earn a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award, a school 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 Healthier Generation’s 2016 National Healthy Schools SILVER Award was granted by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program. It praises the school’s commitment to preventing childhood obesity and fostering the health of students and staff.
“We commend Lovettsville Elementary’s model work around enhancing physical education and physical activity opportunities and inspiring students to go from 0 to 60 both in the classroom and in life,” Charlene R. Burgeson, Let’s Move! Active Schools executive director, stated. “Lovettsville Elementary is leading the way in this generation-changing movement that is transforming our nation’s schools into active and healthy hubs.”