Pacificsource Healthy Life Schools Challenge Winners Announced
2016 Challenge Builds Healthy School Environments and Sets Participation Records for Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) May 25, 2016—The fifth annual PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge is in the books. Two schools in Eugene and one from Springfield have emerged victorious in the friendly and educational competition between the Bethel and Springfield School Districts.
The four-week nutrition challenge encouraged faculty and staff at 31 schools in both districts to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants were also encouraged to decrease their intake of high calorie, sugary, and unhealthy foods by replacing them with fruits and veggies.
This year’s winners were Thurston Elementary, Shasta Middle School, and Kalapuya High School. For their efforts, each winning school will receive a $1,000 grant from the PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement. The winnings will be used to improve or expand health and wellness programs at the respective schools.
“The winning schools did an outstanding job, but the faculty, staff, and students at all 31 schools truly won. They each increased awareness of the health benefits that can be achieved by making smart and simple choices about the foods we consume on a daily basis,” said Alexa Shook, director of PacificSource Health Promotion and Wellness. “The PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge was developed with nutritional education, friendly competition, and peer accountability in mind. If this year’s participation numbers are any indication, we are gaining traction in the classrooms, and that’s carrying over to the health, fitness, and nutrition decisions that staff and students make outside of school, as well.”
A total of 1,644 Bethel and Springfield faculty and staff took part in this year’s challenge, which represents 80 percent of all eligible participants—the highest participation rate in the five years of the challenge. In all, 32,695 servings of fruits and vegetables were consumed during the challenge (up from 24,000 in 2015), and 9,451 unhealthy and high-calorie snacks were replaced with healthy alternatives. Participants logged their progress through an online food journal, and winners were determined by the schools whose faculty and staff consumed the highest percentage of fruits and vegetables.
As part of the challenge, Kaley Trujillo, a fourth-grader at Thurston Elementary School, penned the winning entry in the PacificSource Healthy Life Essay Contest. The contest invited elementary school students to submit an essay that describes in their own words what it means to live a healthy life. Trujillo wrote that playing soccer, eating healthy, and walking her dog help keep her healthy, adding that “living a healthy life is sometimes hard, but I try my best.”
For writing the winning essay, Trujillo and a friend receive free admission to a multi-sport Jordan Kent Skill Camp this summer, and the essay will be featured in the Community Leader section of The Register-Guard, the main daily newspaper for Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County, Oregon.
About PacificSource Healthy Life™
Through collaboration with individuals, organizations, academic institutions, and other key stakeholders, PacificSource Healthy Life™ facilitates the adoption and maintenance of positive health behaviors in four key areas: physical activity, healthy eating, smoke free living, and stress management. With programs throughout the Pacific Northwest, Healthy Life is a leader with regard to wellness initiatives that improve the health of the people in the communities that PacificSource Health Plans serves. For more information about PacificSource Healthy Life, visit PacificSource.com/healthylife or contact Alexa Shook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About PacificSource Health Plans
PacificSource Health Plans is an independent, not-for-profit community health plan serving the Northwest. Founded in 1933, PacificSource is based in Eugene with local offices throughout Oregon, and in Idaho and Montana. The PacificSource family of companies employs 700 people, serves more than 275,000 individuals, and has 3,900 employer clients throughout the Northwest. PacificSource Community Health Plans is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and markets Medicare Advantage products under the name PacificSource Medicare. PacificSource Community Solutions is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and provides Medicaid coverage in Oregon through the Oregon Health Plan. For more information visit PacificSource.com.
Alexa Shook, PacificSource
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