December 16, 2016
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced Propel Schools, a not for profit organization, as the newest Live Well Allegheny School. Dr. Tina Chekan, Superintendent/CEO at Propel Schools, accepted the designation for all eleven schools and two additional set to open in the Fall of 2017 in Allegheny County.
“We are excited to see so many schools and organizations taking on the challenge to help us become the healthiest county by being designated as part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign and then taking that message to their students, residents, members, partners and more,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “It is only through such thoughtful, collaborative efforts that we can make real progress. We’re excited to have Propel Schools on board and look forward to seeing their students, faculty and staff becoming healthier with all of us.”
Propel Schools hosted a school assembly with Sterlen Barr at Propel Homestead called “Fun, Food and Fitness” about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. This program teaches kids the importance of healthy food and fitness in a fun and engaging way.
“Schools can play a significant role in promoting health for their students, whether it is enhancing healthy food options, increasing opportunities for physical activity or providing education on a variety of health behaviors” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “I commend Propel Schools for addressing all of these areas and joining the Live Well Allegheny campaign. They are finding fun and interactive ways to promote health in their schools.”
To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School, Propel Schools has committed to the following action steps to support the health and wellness of its students and employees:
- Increased physical education to include 7 physical activities.
- Preferred meals meet USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge Silver level for nutritional requirements.
- Preferred meals never contain aspartame, saccharin, bleached or bromated flour.
- Every Preferred Meals is free from certain artificial colors and flavors, MSG, bromated vegetable oils, high fructose and corn syrup.100% of all grain produce are whole grain.
- Milk provided by Preferred Meal is rBST hormone-free.
- Plant and harvest from their own garden in one location (Homestead).
- Wellness program for students including dating violence, grief awareness and general teen wellness.
Superintendent/CEO, Dr. Tina Chekan, is spearheading the effort, with plans to emphasize the importance of the family dinner, nutrition and exercise to all constituencies. “Experiencing wellness is necessary for our students to be able to learn and grow academically. As Propel focuses on redefining school and defying expectations, we want our students and their families to know more about how to fuel learning through healthy eating and active lifestyles.”
Students and employees in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.
Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.