Schools across the state of Iowa are seeing some healthy changes in their schools, like changes in the foods offered at school, the nutrition lessons and physical activity provided, and more!
Meet the Challenge! is a program formed through a collaborative partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, USDA Team Nutrition, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, whose goal is to connect nearly 40 Iowa schools with the one-on-one assistance of a Registered Dietitian. The project is currently active in ten school districts: Ankeny, College Community, Des Moines, Indianola, Marshalltown, Newton, Pella, Pella Christian, Saydel, and St. Francis of Assisi.
As part of the Meet the Challenge! program, select buildings within these districts are working with Registered Dietitians, Anne Cundiff, Crystal Morrison, Dianne Pettit, Sandy Holterhaus and Kathryn Thompson, to establish Energy Balance Teams of school staff, parents, and students to help improve the school’s wellness environment and meet criteria for a USDA HealthierUS School Challenge award. Award levels of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction are awarded based on application criteria with a monetary recognition of $500, $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000 respectively.
“The partnership between the Iowa Department of Education’s Team Nutrition program and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has significantly increased the number of Iowa schools who have pursued the HealthierUS School Challenge award. The one-on-one assistance provided by the RD Coaches in the schools brings wellness teams together in each building to work on meeting all required criteria. The partnership is creating healthier school environments in more Iowa schools through promotion of nutrition and physical activity excellence.” says Patti Delger, RD, LD, Team Nutrition Project Director, Iowa Department of Education.
By December, 2012, nearly 40 Iowa schools will have applied for awards through HealthierUS School Challenge, thanks to Meet the Challenge!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (formerly the American Dietetic Association Foundation) is a 501(c)3 charity devoted exclusively to nutrition and dietetics. It funds scholarships and awards, public awareness and research projects and Academy strategic initiatives, and is the largest provider of scholarships and awards in the field of dietetics. The Foundation’s mission is funding the future of the dietetics profession through research and education. Visit the Academy Foundation at www.eatright.org/foundation.