School receives nutrition award

Diamond Willow Middle School is one of seven schools throughout the province to receive a 2012 Nutrition Innovation Award.

Jaclyn Chute

Jaclyn Chute

Diamond Willow Middle School is one of seven schools throughout the province to receive a 2012 Nutrition Innovation Award.

Alberta Milk and its partners established the award to support schools dedicated to improving their student’s eating habits.

In a presentation June 4, the school received two $1,000 cheques that will be put toward the school’s breakfast club.

The first cheque was presented by Don Letwinetz, a community relations advisor at Encana, followed by Tom Kootstra, a dairy farmer and board member of Alberta Milk, presenting the second.

The school has a breakfast club program, heavily sponsored by Encana, in which a four-food-group-breakfast is offered to students, five days a week. To involve the students muffin bake-offs are held to see who can bake the most nutritious muffins for the club.

Themed parties are held at the school to create a healthy environments that is fun for the students. Past events include “Greek Day” and a “Home Court Multicultural Food Feast”.

Teachers now give items such as Subway certificates to students rather than candy and vending machines are stocked with juice, milk and water instead of pop.

“We’re really proud of the creativity Diamond Willow showcased when developing healthy eating initiatives,” said Jaclyn Chute, a nutrition educator with Alberta Milk.

“One person can’t change everything, you have to work together.”

Principal Larry Cook knows that with the money all Diamond Willow’s nutritional engagements will continue.

When Diamond Willow merges with the Ponoka Composite High School in the fall of 2013 he hopes to expand and meld the nutrition program into something bigger.

Joy Lansdale, family and school liaison at Diamond Willow, hopes to someday have the breakfast club run by students as well as plant a community garden at the high school.