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Awards & Honors


North DeSoto High School Received Award for Leading Comprehensive Health, Physical Activity, and wellness Efforts

(Stonewall, LA) September 2014– The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, recognized North DeSoto High School with a 2014 National Healthy Schools Award for transforming its environment into a healthier place. North DeSoto High School received this award at the Alliance’s 2014 Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on September 13.

To earn the National Healthy Schools Award North DeSoto High School improved its nutrition and wellness services and physical activity programs to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.

The Healthy Schools Program provides schools guidance, professional development, access to national experts, and evidence-based resources and tools to help them create and sustain healthy school environments. Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, or Gold National Healthy Schools Awards based on their level of achievement. The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program has helped more than 24,000 schools increase quality physical activity, health education, and healthy eating; and this year, 250 schools are being recognized with a National Healthy Schools Award.


As a recipient of the National Healthy Schools Bronze Award, the school wellness committee at North DeSoto High School has been busy making healthy changes for students and staff. The committee increased the number of healthy options in the lunchroom, provided only reduced or no calorie beverages, formed a walking club, and offered opportunities for students and staff to lift weights before, during, and afterschool. Some students even trained and participated in a 5K race. Teacher Emily Smith said, “Eating better and exercising more allowed me to be more focused and have energy that lasted throughout the day.” The school noticed that teacher attendance improved as a result of the healthy changes. “Healthier teachers come to school more often. And teachers being at school allows students to be successful,” said Stephanie Locke, who teaches physical education and health in addition to coaching basketball and leading the school’s health committee.


“We applaud the achievements of our 2014 honorees,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “They are exemplary in their efforts to get students and staff eating better and moving more, and they prove that it is possible to build healthy school environments. We need thousands more schools across the country like North DeSoto High School —schools that are fully committed to promoting health and wellness, which is vital to improving students’ academic performance.”


To further strengthen the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry leaders to provide schools better access to healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity. Additionally, the Alliance’s landmark agreement with the American Beverage Association has contributed to a 90 percent reduction in calories from beverages shipped to schools between the 2004-2010 school years.


The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To become a healthier place for students to learn and staff to work, any school in the United States can enroll and receive assistance and support, at no cost. Find out more at


About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

In response to the rapid increase in childhood obesity rates over the last three decades, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded to serve as a catalyst for improving children’s health. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to build healthier environments where children thrive. The Alliance’s current work directly impacts more than 20 million children, with a focus on low-income and minority populations who are at increased risk for obesity and other diseases. Millions more young people benefit from system changes initiated through partnerships between the Alliance and the corporate sector.