Cottageville Elementary wins MUSC wellness award

by | June 2, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 30, 2018 at 10:54 am

Cottageville Elementary School earned $10,000 for the Colleton County School District and schools on May 16 after winning the Wellness Achievement Award.
The money is presented by the Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness at the Medical University in Charleston to the school implementing the best program combining a healthy diet and exercise in a school. Forest Hills and Northside Elementary Schools were the other two finalists.
Speaker for the program was Courtney Hensch, program coordinator at the Boeing Center. Linda Bright served as mistress of ceremonies and entertainment was presented by The Gap Steppers. Cordelia Jenkins announced the winner and CCSD Superintendent of Education Dr. Franklin Foster presented the check and trophy.
“They have all worked so hard over the years to instill a wellness culture in their schools. It is so impressive to see all they do for their students, coworkers and the community,” Hensch said.
This is a grant that school nurses sign up for each year, said Ellen Fitch, director of the Colleton County School District Office of Student Nutrition. MUSC provides a checklist for the schools to complete during the year, then a person from MUSC comes to each school and does a prize patrol walk-through. Winners are chosen by the college program on a point system based on the checklist.
“Cottageville’s school nurse Donna Waddell has done a great job,” Fitch said. Some of the health and fitness programs she’s implemented include a running club and water bottle filling stations at the school’s water fountains.
MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness (BCCW) addresses children’s health and development from birth through adolescence. In partnerships across the state, the center works to instill a culture of wellness and prevent obesity so each child is healthy, succeeds in school and thrives in life.
The School Wellness Checklist© Initiative as part of MUSC BCCW is a simple, evidence-based program that motivates districts and schools to create a culture of wellness by making changes to policies, environments and systems that improve nutrition and increase physical activity, all the while competing in a wellness “contest” with other schools. Schools that achieve enough points on the School Wellness Checklist receive a monetary award for further wellness projects such as building a school garden, establishing a walking trail, or installing kinesthetic desks.
The highest scoring school in each district receives an additional award up to $1,000 as well as their name on the district wellness trophy.
The prize money is split between the schools and the school district, with the top school receiving $2,000, the school district getting $1,000 (to pay for the awards ceremony), and the rest divided between the other schools.
“This is Colleton County School District’s fourth year participating in the initiative. Since the beginning, they have had 100% participation and 100% of schools win awards which is quite impressive! All of the schools in Colleton County School District did an amazing job growing their wellness initiatives this year and continue to positively impact the health and wellness of their students, staff, and the community,” Hensch said.
The grand prize winner for the 2017-2018 school year was Cottageville Elementary.
“Nurse Donna Waddell and her wellness committee really knocked it out of the park! This school year they have accomplished so much — they started a daily salad bar for students, teachers are incorporating physical activity breaks into their lesson plans for students on a daily basis, the cafeteria staff holds fresh fruit and veggie tastings for students where students get to vote “yummy” or “yuck,” the art teacher has every grade create nutrition-related artwork, and they have a thriving garden that the students help maintain,” she said.

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