Bell commended for healthy changes
by Courtney Warren
Nov 01, 2013 | 2118 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kristen Smith and Sonya Swafford stand with Bell Academy's Award and  Cleveland School District Board of Trustees President Maurice Lucas.
Kristen Smith and Sonya Swafford stand with Bell Academy's Award and Cleveland School District Board of Trustees President Maurice Lucas.
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B. L. Bell Academy is currently the only school in Mississippi to be recognized by The Alliance for a Healthier Generation for providing students with healthy lunches.

The Healthy Schools Program is a project of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was co-founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

Last year Leah Ferretti, former science lab specialist, submitted documentation about the healthy changes taking place at the school.

Earlier this school year, Bell Academy achieved the 2013 Bronze National Recognition Award for the Healthy Schools Program.

Kristen Smith, science specialist and health coordinator at Bell Academy, said, “Bell Academy is honored to be the only school recognized in the state of Mississippi for our dedication to teaching students how to live a healthy lifestyle. We plan to build off of our success and reach the next level with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “

Smith accepted the award during the award ceremony from former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

"Each school distinguished itself with healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies that meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Healthy Schools Program. Schools are eligible for National Recognition Awards at the Bronze, Silver, or Gold level based on the standards they achieve," according to a press release from Healthier Generation.

“Giving children the right kind of food is crucial to their well-being and success,” said former President Bill Clinton, co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation along with the American Heart Association. “The Healthy Schools Program proves that, with proper planning and support, there seems to be no reason why all districts can’t meet nutritional standards and serve their students healthy, enjoyable meals.”

Bell Academy will receive one large indoor banner, posters to hang around the school, one certificate of recognition, and other celebratory items.

Cleveland School District Superintendent Jackie Thigpen praised the school for its accomplishments.

"Mrs. Swafford and the Bell Academy staff and students are to be commended for receiving the 2013 Bronze National Recognition Award presented by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Health Education was implemented as one of the themes for Bell Academy; the other two are Math and Science. Their efforts to create a healthier school and community have paid off,” she said.