LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Freedom Elementary School on Fort Sill has been named one of America’s healthiest schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This school has made the list in the past, but this year they received the gold award, which is the highest level of recognition.
Sara Breeze, Freedom Elementary School’s Assistant Principal, said it’s all about teaching the kids how to be healthy while helping them stay focused in class. Students at Freedom Elementary School have come to expect healthy food and physical activities.
"Teachers have become very creative,” Breeze said. “Our first-grade teachers create a friendship fruit bowl, and each kid brings different fruit, they put it all together and turn it into a lesson about friendship."
It’s those lessons that helped them reach gold status along with 150 minutes of physical activity each week. They also had to meet or exceed federal nutrition standards for meals and snacks, offer breakfast daily and have wellness policies in place.
Breeze said parents have embraced having a healthier school for their kids.
"They really have become a great resource for us,” Breeze said. “They come in and say ‘We found something healthy that meets the guidelines. Can you add this to your snack list?’ And we embrace that with open arms."
Mikel Shanklin, the principal, said this is exactly what they envisioned seven years ago before this school was even built.
“I think it’s the most awesome thing that we have done,” she said. “It’s teaching the young children how to eat healthy instead of just junk. I know a lot of times they’re not getting that in their home environment and so being able to promote a healthy fit environment here at Freedom it just means so much.”
Breeze said they also have to keep the healthy standard for staff meetings, school-sponsored events and in the staff lounge.