Students at Maryland City Elementary School learned from LazyTown’s famous character Sportacus last week that their school earned the sole Anne Arundel County Public Schools Wellness School of Distinction Award this year.
“We are honored and beside ourselves,” said Principal Karen Soneira. “We didn’t do all this work just for the award, but it means so much to know that we’re on the right track. Our school is so diverse and there are so many needs to think about, but focusing on wellness of the students, staff, and parents is the common fiber that enables us to be successful inside and outside the classroom.”
The AACPS Wellness Schools of Distinction Award recognizes schools that demonstrate a high priority for the health and well-being of students, staff, and school supporters by going beyond the curriculum to produce positive outcomes for the entire school community. From an engaging outdoor classroom, to raising thousands of dollars for health causes, to earning Green School status to conducting Family Fitness nights, Maryland City’s approach to creating a culture of wellness has uniquely met the needs of its students, staff, and community through strong business partnerships and collaborations.
“If we want our young people to be successful, we must acknowledge all the factors that aid in their development and performance,” Superintendent Kevin Maxwell said. “We work hard to provide proper, nutritionally-sound school meals and excellent student services to our students, but we also know that our staff deserves the same support in order to deliver instruction and be healthy role models. This award shows how a school can be the ultimate centerpiece in a community.”
Winning the prestigious honor requires that schools demonstrate a strong effort in addressing the eight components of a coordinated school health program as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control: health education, physical activity, allied health personnel partnerships, nutrition, mental wellness, school environment, staff health, and family/community involvement.
As an extension of the AACPS Wellness Committee, the award is in its second year. Sportacus also paid a visit to Arnold and Jacobsville elementary schools, which won elementary-level awards last year.