WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Six schools from the Desert Sands Unified School District have been recognized as some of 'America's Healthiest Schools' by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation.

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Officials said the Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

There was a total of 328 schools across the country that were recognized by the alliance, and the following six local schools made the list:

  • Amelia Earhart Elementary School
  • Dr. Reynaldo Carreon Academy
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School
  • La Quinta Middle School
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School
  • Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School

Officials said the 328 award-winning schools represent 29 different states and the District of Columbia.

To be recognized, the schools had to meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models, according to the news release.

All recognized schools:

  • Meet or exceed updated federal nutrition standards for school meals, which include increased fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich items and meals lower in saturated fat
  • Offer school breakfast to their students every day
  • Meet or exceed snack and beverage requirements for the federal Smart Snacks in School standards
  • Implement district wellness policies and report progress annually
  • Provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week and ensure activity throughout the school day

"Healthy schools are better schools-it's that simple," says Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "Research tells us students who attend healthy schools perform better academically, have better attendance and their behavior improves."

A couple of DSUSD schools actually made the top of the list, being named to the Gold level:

  • Belcher Elementary School, Clearwater, FL
  • Beryl Heights Elementary School, Redondo Beach, CA
  • Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary School, McAllen, TX
  • Brockman Elementary School, Columbia, SC
  • Bunnell Elementary School, Bunnell, FL
  • Curtis Fundamental Elementary School, Dunedin, FL
  • Freedom Elementary School, Fort Sill, OK
  • Garrett Morgan High School, Cleveland, OH
  • La Quinta Middle School, La Quinta, CA
  • Loma Vista Middle School, Riverside, CA
  • Monterey Highlands Elementary School, Monterey Park, CA
  • Rangerville Elementary School, San Benito, TX
  • Seaton Elementary School, Washington, D.C.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Indio, CA

Throughout the month of September, the America's Healthiest Schools campaign will celebrate the accomplishments of these 328 schools and encourage parents, teachers, administrators, community members and students to make a difference in their own school by visitinghealthiergeneration.org.

KESQ and CBS Local 2 would like to congratulate our local schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District for being recognized as some of the healthiest environments for education.