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25 Schools from IDEA Public Schools in the Rio Grande Valley Named to 2020 List of America’s Healthiest Schools

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IDEA Public Schools in the Rio Grande Valley nationally recognized for implementing best practices in nutrition and physical activity

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Rio Grande Valley, Texas (August 31, 2020) – 25 schools across IDEA Public Schools in the Rio Grande Valley are among the 517 schools nationwide to earn a spot on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s (Healthier Generation) 2020 list of America’s Healthiest Schools for their commitment to promoting quality nutrition, regular physical activity and strong wellness policies.

The following campuses to be named as some of America’s Healthiest Schools are: IDEA Academy and College Prep Brownsville, IDEA Academy and College Prep Elsa, IDEA Frontier College Prep, IDEA Riverview Academy, IDEA Robindale Academy, IDEA San Benito Academy, IDEA Weslaco Pike Academy and College Prep, IDEA Los Encinos Academy and College Prep, IDEA Academy and College Prep Pharr, IDEA Academy and College Prep Mission, IDEA North Mission Academy, IDEA Owassa Academy and College Prep, IDEA Quest Academy, IDEA Academy San Juan, IDEA Academy and College Prep Donna, IDEA Academy and College Prep Edinburg and IDEA Academy and College Prep McAllen.

Though these schools were evaluated on practices taking place prior to the COVID-19 school closures, they leveraged their strong foundations in wellness and were positioned to prioritize healthy habits throughout the pandemic. They have continued to sustain and promote good health in the following ways:

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  • Served over 4 million meals to all students across Texas and Louisiana
  • Gave children fresh produce from the farms at IDEA Donna, San Benito and Quest
  • Increased education around hand hygiene and promoted healthy behaviors to decrease the spread of COVID-19
  • Implementation of a Social Emotional Learning curriculum to support scholar’s mental health
  • Increased promotion of Brain Breaks during virtual learning
  • PE teachers hosting virtual gyms, so scholars get frequent exercise through virtual learning

Over six years ago, IDEA Public Schools started the Healthy Kids Here initiative with the goal of becoming the healthiest school district in the nation. The mission of Healthy Kids Here is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for students by increasing access to nutritious foods, physical activity, and education on health and wellness

“The teachers, parents, students and staff at IDEA Public Schools recognize the critical role that health plays in learning,” said JoAnn Gama, Co-Founder, CEO and Superintendent of IDEA Public Schools. “We’re honored to receive this national recognition for our dedication to supporting the well-being of students and staff, and remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering environments where all members of the school community can succeed.”

“We commend this cohort of school leaders for prioritizing the essential health needs of students and staff in a time of great challenge and with limited resources at their disposal,” said Kathy Higgins, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Over time, these awardees established strong foundations in health – allowing them to pivot and adapt to meet acute health and wellness needs in a year unlike any other.” 

As members of Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, IDEA Public Schools works to implement wellness policies and practices that meet federal requirements and support a comprehensive approach to kids’ health. Any school can join Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program to access trainings, resources and technical assistance by visiting HealthierGeneration.org.

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To view the complete list of awardees, visit HealthiestSchools.org.

For more information on IDEA Public Schools, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org

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