Brooklyn Park elementary school receives national award for healthy initiatives
Gone are the days in school where kids must sit rigidly in desks for hours to learn. Teachers experiment with activities to keep students alert and active. At Fair Oaks Elementary School, if students are growing restless, a teacher can implement a "brain break" where they encourage students to get up and perhaps do a few exercises or yoga poses.

"If you are keeping your body active, it helps you focus and that feeds into academic success," says Anne Strootman, resource manager at the school. "It’s not just one part of the school that participates, it’s the entire building."

Feeding that appetite to learn also transfers naturally into the lunchroom, where cafeteria staff work to make healthy choices more appealing. They cut up fruits and vegetables to make them interesting and easy to eat. The school added a salad bar for older students and staff.

The changes are catching the attention of people at the Department of Agriculture. The school recently won recognition for "Healthier U.S. School Challenge: Smarter lunchrooms".

Fair Oaks Elementary is the only school in Minnesota to win the honor. Along with the award, the school will get a $1,000 stipend that they plan on spending to add before or after school programs that promote fitness.

Shannon Slatton, reporting
on Twitter: @sslatton

January 13, 2017


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