Two Monett schools honored for health outreach

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Magan McPheeters, left, and Paige Farr attended the conference as health champions in the Monett school district, serving as models for others. Contributed photo

Monett schools recognized for healthy community work

Two Monett schools received awards for outstanding achievement in promoting health during the fourth annual convening of recipients of grants from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The session was held in St. Louis in October to celebrate their work with the Healthy Schools/Healthy Communities (HSHC) initiative during the fourth annual initiative convening.

The Monett delegate to the Missouri Foundation for Health’s annual meeting on the Healthy Schools/Healthy Community initiative is pictured. From left, are: Paige Farr, Magan McPheeters, Alex Severs, Shawn Hayden, Kristen Earnest, Erin Meng and Patty Bounous. Contributed photo

Monett Elementary and Monett Middle Schools received the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2017 “National Healthy Schools Award.” The honor recognized the schools earned the Bronze Award earlier this year. Monett achieved this recognition by creating a wellness policy, lunch and breakfast menus, PE/Health curriculum standards and more.

In other honors, Alex Severs, Monett schools wellness coordinator for initiative, received the “Media Maven” award for her ability to consistently engage local media outlets in Monett, Joplin and Springfield to communicate about the success of the HSHC grant, and healthy changes made in and around the community.

Severs was joined by Shawn Hayden, community wellness coordinator for HSHC through Cox Monett Hospital, who participated in the convening’s “Things I Wish I Knew” panel discussion. Hayden talked with fellow HSHC grantees about lessons learned over the years.

Monett’s Alex Severs, right, was recognized as a Media Maven for sharing information on the Healthy Schools/Healthy Community initiative. She was presented the award by Deidre Griffith from the Missouri Foundation for Health. Contributed photo

Attendees spent two days sharing progress they have made in their communities, hearing from community leaders and getting hands on experience through skill-building sessions.

Monett school health champions Magan McPheeters and Paige Farr also attended the session. School champions are chosen for their commitment to creating healthy environments for students and play a crucial role in HSHC activities. 

The HSHC initiative builds healthier futures for kids across Missouri by bringing together schools, community organizations, businesses, parents, and residents to increase access to healthy food and physical activity where kids live, learn, and play.

"Barry County has seen improvements in resources for physical activity and healthy eating, but the largest improvement has been community engagement," said Severs. "We have established a diverse community partnership that is engaged and working toward establishing a culture to sustain a healthier community."