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Bonnabel Magnet Academy Wins Alliance for a Healthier Generation Bronze Award

11_LouisianaBonnabel Magnet Academy High School was awarded the prestigious National Recognition award at the bronze level from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, one of the country’s most extensive childhood obesity prevention efforts whose Healthy Schools Program provides free support and resources to fight childhood obesity to more than 18,000 schools nationwide. Bonnabel is only the third school in the state of Louisiana to receive this award.

“Bonnabel Magnet Academy has an excellent student lead wellness council who is proactive in making their peers aware of healthy choices and lifestyles,” said principal Dawn Kalb. “I am proud of their hard work and leadership in making a difference on our campus by promoting the greatest wealth of all—health!”

The bronze-level recognition means that Bonnabel has shown evidence of consistent healthy practices related to physical activity, health education, and nutrition education.  All of these efforts were developed by Bonnabel’s student-led Wellness Council and the School Based Health Center led by the clinic’s Nurse Practitioner and Ochsner Employee, Nancy Tigert, with support from the administration and staff at Bonnabel High School.

Bonnabel has made many healthy changes in the school environment including:

  • Elimination of all sugary drinks from vending machines and concession stands.
  • Implementation of new school meals requirements to include more fruits and vegetables and whole grains in school meals, as well as eliminating sugary desserts.
  • Providing teacher wellness and health screening opportunities throughout the year.
  • Offering exercise opportunities such as running clubs, dance, yoga, Zumba classes to teachers and students.
  • Creation of a “Gumbo” vegetable garden maintained by students, whose vegetables are then used in the school’s Culinary Arts class.

Since 2009, Ochsner Health System has been the Medical Partner for the School Based Health Center at Bonnabel and a lead supporter of the school’s comprehensive Wellness Initiatives, including student-led Wellness Council projects, health screenings, teacher wellness, physical education equipment donations, medical student education, and a host of other services. Ochsner has been an integral part in supporting a healthy school environment” at the school with other very important partners including Kalb, Wellness Council Leader Teachers, the Bonnabel Cafeteria Staff, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jefferson Parish Public Schools Food Services Department, Jefferson Parish Public Schools Department of Health & Social Services, LSU AgCenter, and most importantly, the students of the Bonnabel Wellness Council.

“Ochsner has been a proud partner with the Jefferson Parish School System since 2008 working to improve the health and wellness of students, families and staff,” said Avery Corenswet, Vice President of Community Outreach at Ochsner Health System. “The progress we’ve seen at Bonnabel since the opening of the School Based Health Clinic in 2009 has been remarkable.  The students have become leaders for the school to make the school a healthy place and we have strong support from the principal and teachers to help make that happen.  We are so pleased that they have received this recognition for their hard work and we look forward to partnering on future projects.”

To further strengthen the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry leaders to provide schools better access to healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity. As a result of these agreements, more than 30 million students across the country have access to healthier school meals – including at least 14 million students who currently participate in the free and reduced lunch program. 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 Bonnabel School Based Health Center was established with a $550,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is sustained through a grant from the Office of Public Health – Adolescent School Health Initiative. Ochsner Health System is the center’s medical partner providing a full time nurse practitioner, medical supplies and wellness programs for both students and staff. Other partners include Access Health Louisiana, Baptist Community Ministries, Celebration Hope Center and Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority. The School Based Health Center is operated by Jefferson Parish Public School System.

The 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 HealthierGeneration.org.

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier children. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.