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For Release: Feb. 28, 2012 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

School Wellness Assessment Available to Encourage Local Health and Fitness

All Oklahoma schools will soon have the opportunity to conduct an annual assessment of their school’s environment as it relates to physical activity and nutrition through the Oklahoma Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard. The Scorecard is a self assessment tool schools can use to assess the quality of their nutrition and physical activity programs, and be recognized with an award by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The web-based survey will be available to schools beginning in March. Letters were mailed to all Oklahoma schools grades K- 12 with the log-in instructions and deadline information. Schools have an opportunity, based on their score, to qualify for either a gold, silver, or bronze certification. All award winners will receive a certificate signed by Gov. Mary Fallin to frame and hang at their school. In addition to the certificate, the gold award winners will receive a banner to hang at their school.

“The Oklahoma Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard is a way for schools to recognize how to make the healthy alternative the easy choice,” said Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports President Wendee Lentz. “We want to help schools identify ways to shape the environment so that every child in the state has an opportunity to be healthy.”

The scorecard was designed to assess and monitor a school district’s local school wellness policy. In 2006, a federal law was created that requires each school district that participates in federally reimbursable school meals program to enact a local school wellness policy. The scorecard can be used by the Healthy and Fit Advisory Committee at each school to recommend changes to strengthen the district’s wellness policy.

The Oklahoma Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard, a project of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, was formally established in 1988 by Executive Order (91-10). The council is charged with serving in an advisory capacity to the governor and state leaders on issues related to physical activity and to promote and facilitate increased participation in regular physical activity. More information about this council can be found at www.ok.gov/ogcpfs or by calling John Friedl, physical activity consultant with the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Center for the Advancement of Wellness, at (405) 271-4072.

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