Team members from the Ouachita Parish Healthy Communities Coalition of the LSU AgCenter were honored recently at the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) 86th annual session, whose theme was “Life Elevated.”

Cathy Agan, Denise Breard, Kimberly Butcher, Dvawn Maza, Brady Middleton, Markaye Russell, and Pam Sapp were members of the team that received the 1st Place National and 1st Place Southern Region NEAFCS School Wellness Award at the virtual conference held Sept. 14 -16.

In receiving the award, the team was recognized for collaborating with Shady Grove Elementary School to create an indoor playground at the school. The indoor playground was designed as an environmental and systems change to encourage children to be physically active at recess even on days when the weather prevented them from using the outside playground.

The NEAFCS School Wellness Award recognizes outstanding school-based programs to promote and improve physical, emotional, and/or social wellness of students, staff or families of students in the school community.

The use of partnerships or collaborations, evidence of program impact and sustainability are part of the evaluation criteria. Programs may include nutrition, fitness, garden-based nutrition education, health, character education, self-esteem, farm-to-school and more. This award is sponsored this year by the NEAFCS membership and awards fund

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