St. Elizabeth Catholic School recognized for community health efforts

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

St. Elizabeth Catholic School was recently awarded an official designation as a Healthy South Texas School in May 2021. SES was the only school recognized as a designation throughout the entire Coastal Bend Diocese . 

The proclamation was awarded for the extra steps throughout the year by offering nutritious food and physical activity programs outside their regular curricula to both students and families.

The school followed a set criterion of programs available through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in order to be awarded the designation. The projected goal is to improve health education and health outcomes within the community. Education is provided on nutrition, healthy food preparation, and regular physical activity to reduce preventable diseases and their consequences relating to diabetes, asthma, and infectious disease.

The programs included: 

  • Path to the plate youth expo -The initiative seeks to correct misinformation about the production of our food supply and its effect on human health. These youth expo events are like traditional agricultural literacy day events; however, they are specific to the connection between agriculture and health. These sessions and talking points will highlight commodities such as beef, poultry, pork, grapefruit, wheat, corn, and tomatoes.
  • Walk Across Texas- was an 8-week program to help people start moving more and establish physical activity as a lifetime habit. Staff and parents are encouraged to participate and form teams of 8 for a friendly competition. 
  •  The Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking Schools - This program demonstrates recipes that are cost-effective, easy to prepare, and fit into a healthy meal plan. The main goals are to promote family mealtime, teach families healthy meal planning and food preparation techniques, and promote Texas agriculture. 

According to a report issued in 2020 by US News Jim Well County ranked higher than average in diabetes and high in obesity

Nutrition Score in Jim Wells County by US News

“Not only do our schools offer a rigorous academic program preparing our students for college and career readiness, our Catholic schools also form our youth in mind, body and spirit," said Dr. Rosemary Henry, Superintendent of Catholic Schools

“I am energized by the school’s commitment to lead students and families to a healthy and active lifestyle," said April Esparza, SES parent. "This new designation is a fitting description of the way in which the school encourages, inspires and engages community members to be healthy, happy and to serve the Lord.”

Information:

Contact Valerie Vavrusa at 361-664-6271 or Elaine Gonzalez at 361-701-9047.

Website: St. Elizabeth Catholic School of Alice