Wake schools recognized for health initiatives

Posted June 3, 2011 6:15 p.m. EDT

More than a dozen Wake County public schools were recognized Friday for their efforts to improve the health of students and school employees.

Wake County Public School System Superintendent Tony Tata joined the group Advocates for Health in Action to announce the 2011 Brains and Bodies Award recipients.

Four schools won the Gold Award designation for their efforts to increase physical activity and nutrition opportunities: A.B. Combs Elementary, Fuller Elementary and Underwood Elementary schools in Raleigh and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School in Apex.

West Lake Elementary School in Apex won the Silver Award, while seven area schools earned the Bronze Award: Davis Drive Elementary, Mills Park Elementary and Northwoods Elementary schools in Cary; Hunter Elementary, Swift Creek Elementary and Wildwood Forest Elementary schools in Raleigh; and Olive Chapel Elementary School in Apex.

Farmington Woods Elementary School in Cary was awarded Honorable Mention.

“We congratulate our winning schools and applaud their outstanding efforts to emphasize the connection for our students and staff between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and its positive impact on achieving a high-quality education,” Tata said.

More than 43 percent of Wake County children between ages 5 and 11 are overweight and obese, Laura Aiken, director of Advocates for Health in Action, said.

“We are amazed by the innovative ways the winning schools are promoting health and wellness for everyone associated with the school,” she said.

Advocates for Health in Action is a group of more than 50 organizations and community members who work to ensure available and affordable access to healthy food and physical activity for the community.