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Horton Elementary School wins Healthier US School Challenge Award

Students taking a pre-breakfast lap around the field then eating breakfast at their desks in the classroom... these are two of many healthy activities and programs adopted by Horton Elementary School.

The effort has now been recognized by the federal government: the school has won the $500 Healthier US School Challenge Silver Award from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

Healthy bodies do make healthy minds. Throughout the district, school wellness teams focus on the best combination of programs and activities to benefit students. Horton is one of the more than 40 schools in San Diego Unified's Breakfast in the Classroom Program, which now serves more than 32,000 breakfasts daily.

A UCSD doctoral candidate, Dallas Dotter, studied these programs and found an increase in both math and English language scores on the California Standards Tests in schools following implementation.

Ronna Bach, Special Nutrition Program Director USDA Western Regional Office, presented the award to the school yesterday. Also on hand were Dotter and Sandip Kaur, Director of Nutrition Services, California Department of Education.

The Healthier US School Challenge is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move! in 2010, incorporating the Healthier US School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time monetary awards became available for schools receiving the awards.

For more information on the program, contact Gary Petill, Food Services Director, at