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Healthy living top priority at W.O. Parmer

W.O. Parmer Elementary School is among the nation’s elite when it comes to teaching its students how to live healthy.

The Butler County school was recognized among nine other schools in Alabama as one of “America’s Healthiest Schools.” On Monday, a record-breaking 461 schools representing 26 states across the nation were tapped for the honor.

The award is presented by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization empowering students to develop lifelong healthy lives. Earning its distinction as the only Gold Medal School in the state, W.O. Parmer Elementary School successfully met the criteria for serving healthy snacks and meals to its students.

Butler County Board of Education Child Nutrition Director Linda Perdue was very pleased with the award.

“We do follow all the guidelines that they request,” she said. “It wasn’t a long process because it is nutritious choices we implement and do on a daily basis. We were providing healthy meals for the kids everyday.”

Realizing the school already met the requirements, Perdue decided to apply.

“We knew we qualified, so we applied,” she said.

According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation all of the award-winning schools met four qualifications:

• Meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks.

• Offer breakfast daily.

• Implement distinct wellness policies and update progress annually.

• Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure physical activity throughout the school day.

Based on these qualifications, the school works consistently to uphold all standards especially in the field of physical education, focusing on the importance of exercise and empowering student leaders to become healthy role models for peers.

Perdue added that she is very thankful for the teachers at the school for helping work toward this goal.

“The physical education part is met at school by the teachers,” she said. “They are teaching them to live and make healthy choices a lifestyle,”

Perdue also looks forward to continue helping the school and students make healthier choices.

“We were the only one in the state of Alabama that had gold,” she concluded. “I commend the managers at each school that work hard to provide the food for the students.”