Marcell Elementary School learned today that their efforts towards creating a healthier school and learning environment for students has paid off with top honors from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Fancy Flores, Healthy Schools program manager in Texas visited Marcell this afternoon to let them know they had earned the gold level award, the highest given in the National Healthy Schools Award program.

Three other Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) schools have been notified that they have qualified for silver awards. They are: Castro Elementary School, Cavazos Elementary School, and Mission Collegiate High School. Due to the strict standards for the silver honors, it is rare for any high school to earn an award above the bronze level.

Last year, all Mission CISD schools earned a bronze award, with the exception of Alton Elementary School, which earned a silver award. Unless a school applies for a higher award, the honors stand for two years before having to re-qualify for honors. Honors earned last year had already placed all Mission CISD schools among the 328 Healthiest Schools in America, and earned the district the 2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools Award.

To earn awards, the schools and district had to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy School Program for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education, and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models.

“I am very proud of how our schools have been able to accomplish in only the third year of working with the Alliance,” said Dr. Ricardo López, superintendent. “It takes some time to change the mindsets of students, parents, and staff. It is exciting to me to see how each year, our schools are striving for higher levels of achievement because it helps build a healthier community. Plus, studies show healthier students are better prepared for learning.”

The Alliance was founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation to work to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. More about the Alliance, can be found online, https://www.healthiergeneration.org/.