“Eat Smart/Play Hard” was the message Wednesday at Anson Elementary as the school kicked of its healthier school initiatives.
Anson is going for gold in the Healthier US School Challenge, a voluntary certification initiative of the National School Lunch Program. Started in 2004, the program recognizes schools creating healthier environments through promoting nutrition and physical activity. The Challenge gives monetary awards at four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. As of Oct. 5 there are 4,411 schools certified nationwide.
Anson has also applied for a grant from Fuel Up to Play 60, a program of the National Football League and National Dairy Council empowering students to take charge and make small everyday changes to impact their lives and communities.
To kickoff these initiatives Anson students had breakfast in the classroom, then took advantage of the warm weather to participate in numerous activities outside with PE teacher Don Wiser. Student athletes from Marshalltown High School and Marshalltown Community College helped Anson students participate in jump rope, hula-hoop, and other physical activities while also sharing their personal stories about healthy living and the benefits of activity.
The Power Panther – the mascot of the “Eat Smart/Play Hard” initiative – was also present to get students excited about healthy living.