North Iowa school district receives award for healthy habits

CRESCO, IA – The Howard-Winneshiek school district received the Gold Award in the HealthierUS School Challenge today.

At a school assembly, students and faculty connected with Iowa’s Governor and Lt. Governor and the school’s nutrition director read aloud a letter of congratulations from Michelle Obama.

Kitchen manager, Ann Ollendick said, “It’s exciting! Some days it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it when you see the kids eat all the food.”

Their goal is to make healthy food available and appetizing for their kids and Ollendick and her kitchen team believe this award signifies “mission accomplished”.

“Kids tend to eat things more if they’re not in a whole,” Ollendick said. “If they’re sliced up, cut, quartered, it’s easier for them to eat and go instead of trying to eat around an apple, or eat around an orange.”

Superintendent, John Carver, said that this year bringing nothing but big things for the district.

“There have been a lot of schools, a lot of classrooms, but we’re the first school district,” Carver said.

The program, known as ‘Let’s Move’, helped school leaders rethink how they approach nutrition and it’s even got them revamping their approach to education as well.

“In the Howard-Winneshiek community school district, we’re focusing in on good food and nutrition, physical activity as well as kind of reinventing reaching and learning,” Carver said.

Last week students in this school district were all given technology to use in the classroom and combine that with their new partnership with the lime springs beef plant, it’s a school year with an impressive start.

“We’re looking at the whole child; body, soul and mind,” Carver said. “Education needs to be more than just the academic piece but we need to develop the service and moral piece of the child as well and this part of it.”

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