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Focus on health earns W.O. Parmer, GMS, GHS national honors

Three of America’s healthiest schools lie here within the Butler County School System.

W.O. Parmer, Greenville High School and Greenville Middle School are recipients of the 2016 National Healthy Schools Award, According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

The distinction means the three schools have met stringent guidelines for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering physical and health education and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models.

Butler County’s three schools accounted for nearly half of Alabama’s honorees, alongside Green Valley Elementary School, Hidden Lake Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School and Rocky Ridge Elementary School.

W.O. Parmer’s healthy practices earned a silver commendation, while both Greenville High School and Greenville Middle School earned bronze medals.

W.O. Parmer was recognized at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2016 Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, on Friday, Sept. 30.

Regardless of whether a school earned a bronze, silver or gold placement, each of America’s Health Schools award recipients is a best-in-class example of the nationwide movement to create a culture of health at school.

Butler County Schools superintendent Amy Bryan said that placing an emphasis on student health is the first step in creating positive habits that will follow students long after they’ve left the halls of schools within Butler County.

“Healthy Kids learn better,” Bryan said.

“Our teachers and leaders recognize that healthy living is important to the student learning process, as well as for lifelong success. I am so proud of this national recognition—again this year—and I believe this is just another way to boldly commit to student success.”

Healthy Schools also make sense from an economic standpoint. Multiple studies have shown that healthier students not only perform and behave better in the classroom, but they also attend school more often.

School districts often lose tens of thousands to millions of dollars annually in attendance-based state funding because of absenteeism.