Nashua Elementary School Wins NH Award for Healthy Eating Active Living

Fighting obesity has become a priority for several schools across New Hampshire, but one Nashua elementary school’s efforts are being recognized above the rest.

Congratulations to Amherst Street Elementary School, winner of the 2014 New Hampshire Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) “ED”ies Award, which honors one school’s commitment and accomplishments in establishing a learning environment that supports healthy eating with opportunities for physical activity.

HEAL NH Director Terry Johnson addresses an assembly at Amherst Street Elementary School in Nashua.

HEAL NH Director Terry Johnson addresses an assembly at Amherst Street Elementary School in Nashua.

Terry Johnson, director of HEAL NH, announced the award during a school assembly and presented Principal Jennifer Scarpati with an award banner featuring “5-2-1-0”, which, as Amherst Street School students know, stands for the recommended daily amount of:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
  • 2 hours or less of screen time
  • 1 hour of physical activity
  • 0 sweetened drinks

The school also received $500 to support its work promoting healthy eating and active living, and will be recognized during the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards Program – also known as the “ED’ies” – on June 7 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

HEAL NH award banner with Amherst Street School group

Community partners celebrating the Amherst Street Elementary School’s HEAL Award are (L-R): Paul Hebert, United Way; Beverly Doolan, Nashua Public Health; Paule Ralph, Nashua School District food service; Patricia McMahon, Deborah Wall, Stacy Bachelder, Sarah Marandos, Jennifer Scarpati, and Debbie Kudalis, Amherst St. School; Awilda Muniz, UNH Cooperative Extension; Stacy Nelson, YMCA of Greater Nashua; and Terry Johnson. HEAL NH.

“As an urban school with over 80 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch and 40-50 families participating in the BackPack Food Pantry Program, the school, in partnership with the community, is playing a vital role in ensuring that students have every opportunity to be healthy and thrive,” said Johnson. “Effective collaboration among committed school leaders, faculty, staff, students, parents and community partners is a key reason why Amherst Street Elementary School received this year’s award.”

As a community partner committed to fighting obesity, United Way of Greater Nashua earlier this year introduced the school to WE CAN, a national education program designed by the National Institutes of Health to help children ages 8-13 maintain a healthy weight by improving food choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time. Principal Scarpati said the pilot program – one of several anti-obesity efforts employed at the school – has allowed Amherst Street Elementary to offer additional nutrition classes and wellness activities for the school’s families.

United Way of Greater Nashua President Paul Hebert joined Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, School Superintendent Mark Conrad, and Nashua Community Health Improvement Program representatives in congratulating the school on its achievement.

United Way supports the Amherst Street Elementary School’s anti-obesity efforts through the Community Impact Fund.  Want to help make your community healthier? Please make a donation today.


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