School Credits Efforts to Increase Access to Healthy Foods and Physical Activity with Reduction in Behavioral Referrals

CONCORD, NH (May 27, 2015) – Pleasant Street School in Laconia has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Healthy Eating Active Living NH Education in Excellence (‘ED’ie) Award.

As part of the HEAL ‘ED’ie Award, Pleasant Street School received $500 to support its work promoting healthy eating and active living. The school will also be recognized during the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards Program – also known as the “ED’ies” – on June 6 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Pleasant Street School, which serves 287 students in grades K-5 was cited for demonstrating a school environment that prioritizes access to healthy foods and physical activity to help keep students engaged throughout the day and become better learners, according to HEAL NH Director Terry Johnson.

“Pleasant Street School, a Title One school with 53% of students claiming low socioeconomic status, has fully integrated healthy foods and opportunities to be active as part of the school day,” said Mr. Johnson. “Schools play a vital role because that is where students spend up to half their waking hours. Pleasant Street School is not only providing an excellent learning environment, it is setting the stage for students to be healthy and thrive for a lifetime.”

Photo on right: Principal David Levesque, HEAL Director Terry Johnson, school staff, and students at Pleasant Street School award ceremony.

Schools from throughout the state – from kindergarten through 12th grade – were eligible for the HEAL ‘ED’ie Award, which is based on criteria that promotes healthy eating and active living environments for students and staff. Healthy eating criteria include strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided throughout the school day and integration of nutrition education into curriculum. Active living criteria include regular opportunities for physical activity such as a strong physical education program complemented by regular “movement breaks” offered in the classroom, along with recess before lunch.

“We are truly honored to receive this recognition from HEAL NH,” said Pleasant Street School Principal David Levesque.  “Our faculty, staff, student body and community members believe that healthy children make better students.  Our efforts have resulted in a decline in behavioral referrals throughout specific times of the day as well as a renewed energy towards increased physical activity.  Pleasant Street has been a leader in creating activities that support HEAL.  This includes Walk to School Wednesday, Taste Test Tuesday, Friday Festivities, Teacher’s Salad Club, Morning Recess and more.  PSS will continue to do our best in helping all students learn how being healthy can lead to a positive and productive future.”

About HEAL NH: The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) NH campaign began in 2008 and is led by the Foundation for Healthy Communities, a non-profit New Hampshire organization focused on improving health and health care through innovative partnerships. HEAL is supported by a collaboration of foundations and state agencies committed to promoting health and wellbeing for all New Hampshire residents. Funding is provided by HNH Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Endowment for Health, NH Charitable Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the NH Department of Health and Human Services. More information about HEAL NH can be found at

Learn about previous winners on our HEAL Excellence in Education Awards page.


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