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Country Day launches student health, nutrition initiative

November 18, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Building on the numerical digits in the year of its founding, Wheeling Country Day School is asking students to adopt a "1929" initiative to promote health and nutrition.

As part of the effort, students in grades senior kindergarten through fifth grade are to keep a daily record of four components of healthy living. The daily goal is for each student to get at least one (1) hour of physical activity; at least nine (9) hours of sleep, no more than two (2) hours of screen time, and nine (9) healthy servings of food.

The Health Plan Partnering for a Better Future - Wellness Grant for Schools is supporting the "1929" initiative. The students will be rewarded with fitness-related prizes for reaching their goals.

Article Photos

Photo Provided
Pictured during an assembly to introduce the “1929” health and nutrition initiative at Wheeling Country Day School are, front row from left, Adam McCracken, Torey Camden, Pitter Pat Jeffers and Chance Knight; back row from left, Peyton Berner; Becky Dodd, physical education instructor; Kelsey Telfer, quality improvement coordinator for The Health Plan; Shelly Rouse, assistant director of quality improvement and wellness for The Health Plan; and Julie Cartwright, Country Day “Kids in the Kitchen” program director and assistant chef.

The Health Plan grant also is helping to advance the school's wellness efforts by supporting the school's Kids in the Kitchen curriculum and helping purchase supplemental elements for a school salad bar that was purchased through a grant from the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.

"The Wheeling Country Day School curriculum places great emphasis on appropriate academic challenges in traditional subject areas stressing speaking, writing and critical thinking skills. It focuses on the child within the learner, the ability to independently expand upon classroom learning experiences, and promotes physical activity and nutrition," said Elizabeth Hofreuter-Landini, head of school.

The Kids in the Kitchen program was established last school year. Each week, Kids in the Kitchen provides students with a hands-on opportunity to learn about food and nutrition. Students work in a kitchen lab where they take part in creating healthy fun snacks and meals. Students rotate through "Try It Tuesday" classes taught in the kitchen lab, where each child learns about the origin of a recipe - which can include a cultural or history lesson - and about its ingredients. Each student then helps prepare the recipe and taste-tests it, then votes on whether or not it should become a part of the school's regular lunch menu.

"Thankful Thursday" sessions encourage children to express what healthy food does for their bodies. During the Community Connections sessions, children see firsthand who in our community helps feed them, sometimes involving a community service element. Bringing it all together, the school lunch program features some of the recipes the kids have approved and stresses the importance of community resources utilizing local companies including Jebbia's, Riesbeck's, and Jacob and Son's Wholesale Meats. All the soups, sauces and dressings served are made from scratch by chef Myra Orban and assistant Julie Cartwright, and every effort is made to avoid processed foods in most meals. A school garden also is utilized in the school's lunch program.

For more information, call 304-232-2430 or visit

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