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Estabrook Gets the Gold

It’s been a roller coaster couple of years for Lexington’s Estabrook Elementary, but the school got some good news earlier this month when it was the only one in Massachusetts awarded a gold medal for school wellness.

Estabrook Elementary School earlier this month scored a gold medal for school wellness, a recognition jointly awarded by the state’s Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education departments.

Estabrook was the only Gold-level recipient in 2012, while South High Scommunity School in Worcester claimed bronze. The awards honor the schools’ “strong commitment to the health of their students and staff,” according to the state’s announcement.

In explaining Estabrook’s award, the state noted the school’s annual the “Run of the Mill 5k” and “Jim Banks Kids Fun Run,” held each May.  “The event promotes the idea of running together as a family and a school and attracts over 250 participants from the community,” the announcement says.

Estabrook officials received a “Massachusetts School Wellness Award” banner at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ and Mass Association of School Superintendents’ joint conference held Nov. 7 in Hyannis. As well, winning schools were awarded materials to support school wellness programs and activities.

In a memo announcing Estabrook’s award, Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash noted Bridge School was the state’s only gold medal recipient last year. Wellness education and promoting healthy behaviors are a central mission of the district, Ash said in the announcement.

“The Massachusetts School Wellness Award provides recognition for leadership in school wellness,” Laura York, director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Coordinated School Health Program, said in the LPS announcement. “These schools understand the importance of a healthy school environment, not only in terms of the childhood obesity epidemic, but for the academic success of their students as well.”

News of Estabrooks wellness award comes not long after the district officially broke ground on a new school building following the discovery and remediation of PCBs, a probable human carcinogen, at the existing school in 2010.

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