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Animas Valley Elementary School Named Colorado Healthy School Champion

As one of 47 champions named as a 2018 Healthy School Champion, the school’s work will be honored through the annual recognition program, which awards schools and school districts for creating and supporting a healthy school environment and successfully implementing effective school health efforts that support student learning.  

“Our Animas Valley Elementary staff, students, parents, and community have worked tirelessly this school year to further develop our capacity to meet the unique needs of each individual child – seeing and supporting the ‘whole child’ through the power of a school family culture, meaningful connection, and authentic skill development,” says Animas Valley Assistant Principal Samantha Tower.  “We are proud of the innovations that we have already accomplished and are looking forward to continue our exploration of this potentially transformational work.”


“I speak for the parents of this school when I say we are proud of our school.  We are proud of the evolution of our mentality and the positive wellness results we are seeing in our students.  By ensuring all stakeholders in this school are aligned with the same mission, our kids are healthier and happier.” said Animas Valley parent, Bonnie Thornbladh, who has supported the collaborative health efforts of AVE staff and its parent organization.

Healthy School Champions Recognition is presented by Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and  Colorado’s Healthy Schools Successful Students, and sponsored by The Colorado Health Foundation.


“At CEI, we see the positive impact healthy school environments have on student success and this annual celebration program allows us to recognize and celebrate schools and school districts that are succeeding at this important work,” said CEI Director of School Health Amy Dyett. “These schools and districts have successfully demonstrated the critical link between student health and academic achievement and we’re excited to present this year's 2018 Healthy School Champions award to Animas Valley Elementary.”

Schools and school districts are awarded based on their implementation of best practices in school health, captured through an assessment tool called Smart Source, a narrative outlining their work, and letters of support. “For the winning schools and districts, health and wellness is embedded into the culture and systems.  It’s about having an intentional investment to meet the needs of their students and staff in order to achieve academically,” added Dyett. In addition, all winning champions are highlighted in the Colorado Healthy School Champions annual magazine.  

The program has given over 315 awards, granting more than $350,000 over the past eight years in the range of $300 to $7,500 per champion.