Posted: Sep 6, 2013 4:23 PM by MTN News
After being recognized as one of the nation's healthiest schools, Bozeman's Monforton School will receive $3,000 from the USDA to support their school meals programs.
Last spring, the school was recognized by the USDA as one that excelled in nutrition and physical activity, winning three awards in the HealthierUS School Challenge program.
"This was a great collaborative effort involving the school's wellness committee, comprised of parents and staff," said Monforton School Superintendent Darren Strauch. "The school lunch program at Monforton is high quality, especially when you realize we are using a remodeled classroom as a lunchroom to serve over 300 students."
Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said, "Schools receiving these awards are models for schools across the state because they demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellness of Montana children. Children who eat healthy meals and are active are better prepared for success in the classroom."
To qualify for the Silver awards, Monforton School submitted a detailed application documenting adherence to the HealthierUS School Challenge criteria for their lunch menus, nutrition education, opportunities for physical activity and a local school wellness policy. Chef Nick Steen, previous Food Service Manager, and parent Monique Radick led the HUSSC application process, along with broad-based support from the school food service staff, Jacob Robidou, Physical Education teacher, and the school's wellness committee.
Monforton's school meals are prepared from scratch with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy foods, lean protein choices and whole grain foods. Dana Garibaldi, School Food Service Manager, and staff serve fresh, tasty meals with a daily salad bar. Garibaldi said, "The updated nutrition standards from the USDA have given us an opportunity to offer students a variety of nutritional food choices. When students are allowed an option between salad bar and the main entrée, or two different vegetables, they enjoy their meal more and begin to form healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime."
The high priority placed on physical activity and physical education along with innovative programs to increase students' physical activity were another key reason for the Silver recognition. Health enhancement teacher Jacob Robidou has been instrumental in creating fun ways to keep students active and teaching life-long physical activity skills. The parent group organizes the school garden, a family fun run and a recess walking program.
Parents and community members are invited to attend the award celebration, in conjunction with a Constitution Day assembly, on September 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM in the school gymnasium. Parents are also welcome to join their children for school lunch. Please call Monforton School at (406) 586-1557 to schedule and be added to the lunch count.