A Pickens County elementary school received one of the most prestigious awards the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers this morning. USDA Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton was on hand to award A.R. Lewis Elementary School the Gold Award for meeting the highest standards of creating a healthy environment for students. Thornton says that A.R. Lewis has met the high standards set forth to win this award.
“They have applied and won the ‘Healthier U.S. Gold Award’ which is a very prestigious award among elementary school nutrition programs nation wide,” said Dr. Thornton. “There are pretty stringent standards set by USDA for both health–physical activity and nutrition–and this school met the mark.”
Dr. Thornton says this award reflects the entire community. “This really is a program that involves the entire community,” she said. “Here, it was very evident when we came in that they work in partnership with others to really increase that health and wellness that has become one of the important goals of this school.”
The award not only rewards a healthier menu but also requires physical activity. According to Thornton, “They adapted menus to meet the criteria that was set forth by the USDA. They had physical activity and participation that was set forth by the USDA.
“It was written up and sent in to the regional office through their state office. It was evaluated and approved.”
South Carolina ranks third in the nation for the most schools to win this award with 54.