Gervais schools continue to make a healthy name for themselves on a national level.

Gervais Middle School has received a Silver National Recognition Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. The school was recognized at a national conference in Little Rock, Ark., last week for transforming its campus into a healthier place for students and staff. Gervais High School received the same distinction last year.

To earn the recognition, Gervais Middle School, led by staff wellness coordinator Shandel Jump, improved its nutrition services and physical activity programs to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The Healthy Schools Program provides professional development to schools such as on-site and virtual trainings with school health experts, access to a customer support center, science-based resources and success stories — at no cost — to more than 18,000 schools nationwide to help them reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, or Gold National Recognition Awards based on their level of achievement. Gervais Middle School was one of 267 schools from around the country, and only three from Oregon honored at the Healthy Schools Program Forum in Little Rock.

Last year, Gervais High School received a Silver Award, making it the healthiest school in Oregon. Both Gervais High and Middle schools have also received Bronze Awards.

“We are still continuing to work on staff and student health and hopefully will continue to progress toward ‘gold’ accomplishments,” Jump said. “Gold level is extremely difficult to reach and with government funding minimizing, it makes it even more difficult to reach some of those goals we have set out for. Reaching the gold level is like reaching for the stars, but not unattainable. With the support of staff, administrators, food services and students, it may take time, but with hard work and dedication, anything can happen!”

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