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Week of Nov. 1: Healthy schools highlights

Nov. 15 deadline to apply for a free salad bar at your child’s school

EdNews Parent expert and the head of the Boulder Valley School District’s nutrition services department sent out an urgent plea for help spreading the word last week, noting that Nov. 15 is the deadline for schools to apply for a a free healthy salad bar kit through the Salad Bar Project. Schools can apply for the salad bar through a partnership with Whole Foods Market, whose shoppers raised more than $1.4 million to fund salad bars in schools across the country. It is so easy to apply – schools just click here.

GOCO funds lead to another great playground

Lumberg Elementary School hasn’t had a playground to call its own for the past three months, until now. Drive past the school and now you will see students playing on a colorful new playground. The project was made possible through a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the City of Edgewater Parks and Recreation and Jefferson County.

Even though the school is right across the street from recreation areas at Sloan’s Lake Park, it is just too dangerous for students to cross Sheridan to access the playgrounds.

Students, parents and the surrounding community are excited about the new space that shines with bright colors, 40 different kinds of activities, slides, bridges and signs to help students learn sign language. The school’s old playground dated back to the ‘70s. The Nov. 11 ribbon cutting was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Boulder Valley elementary school wins Walk to School Challenge

Heatherwood Elementary School won first place in the nation in the Clorox Green Works Walk to School Challenge. This contest, sponsored by Clorox Green Works, the Sierra Club and Safe Routes to School, challenged elementary and middle schools across the nation to earn points by clocking their walks during October, which is National Walk to School Month.

Heatherwood ended up on top with 138 families, including 200 parents and 234 children, walking a total of 119,100 minutes, which equated to 5,270 miles (or nearly the distance from Los Angeles to New York and back). Heatherwood will be awarded with a $5,000 green grant for their efforts.

The school won – despite mountain lion sightings, smoke from wildfires and a lot of road construction thanks to the Walk and Roll Program launched two years ago at the school by a group of parent volunteers. Parents noticed that, although most students at Heatherwood live within 2 miles of the school, walking and riding bikes to school was not very common. Parent volunteers started organizing crossing guards on 75th Street, a rural highway filled with busy commuters that bisects the attendance area of the school. Heatherwood is now happy to report that construction of a new pedestrian crossing zone on 75th Street is under way, funded by Safe Routes to School.

Heatherwood also developed a program in which kids are acknowledged after walking or rolling 5, 30 and 100 days to school. Also, each fall and spring of the last two years, the school has put on a Walk and Roll Week in which families have been greeted with healthy snacks each morning for walking and biking to school. The weeks were capped off by an all-school assembly with smoothies donated by Boulder’s RUSH and a bike was raffled off to participants. Heatherwood also participated in International Walk to School Day on Oct. 6 in conjunction with the Shoot for the Moon promotion organized by BVSD.

Students from three Denver high schools cook for a good cause

LiveWell Colorado, a nonprofit organization committed to reducing and preventing obesity in Colorado, announced that students from three Denver public high schools will compete in the first EatWell@School Culinary Competition taking place at Johnson & Wales University at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19.

The competition is part of a unique nine-week after-school program that teaches students basic culinary skills and nutritional education to prepare them for a lifetime of healthy cooking habits. As the culminating event of the program, the competition will challenge students to create a delicious, nutritious and affordable school lunch that meets the same criteria as a public school lunch in terms of following USDA guidelines, procurement standards and budget limitations.

The winning meal will be served at LiveWell Colorado’s inaugural fundraiser on Wednesday, Dec. 8, where the students will be recognized for their accomplishment.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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