Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre is the first South Dakota school to receive a Healthy Schools Award through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Former principal, Troy Wiebe accepted the award in Washington DC.
The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program brings parents, school staff, and students together to turn campuses into healthier places. Studies show that healthy kids have higher attendance rates, higher test scores and behave better in class. More than 24,000 schools nationwide are using the Healthy Schools Program to make this the norm at school.
At Georgia Morse Middle School, vending machines are serving healthier snacks, and students are choosing fruit and vegetable options more frequently in the cafeteria, just to name a few of the school’s healthy changes. The staff also organized a “Girls on Track” program to help girls train for a 5K race and managed a weight lifting program after school three days per week. “The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program was essential in bringing incentives and awareness to our staff concerning national programs, expectations, and guidelines. The support we received from the Alliance was critical to the development of our team and provided excellent supports throughout the year,” said Principal Troy Wiebe. Staff are also making healthy changes by drinking more water and promoting participation in the district’s 5K run/walk.
We encourage more schools in South Dakota to follow their lead to ensure that all kids in South Dakota are on track toward a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a healthy diet.