Schools and childcare programs are limiting unhealthy food choices, sugar drinks and screen time, while encouraging more physical activity
PRESQUE ISLE – Let’s Go! Aroostook, a program of Aroostook County Action Program, announced that they now have, 4 out-of-school programs, 29 early care and education programs, and 5 school programs across Aroostook County that are being recognized for creating places in which unhealthy food choices, sugar drinks and screen time are limited and physical activity is encouraged. School nutrition programs will also be recognized for their hard work, strength, innovation and commitment to ensuring all students had access to nutritional foods throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020-2021 year was challenging, unique and meals were served in many different ways. The modified Let’s Go! Annual survey had an impressive response rate of 83%. Let’s Go! recognition criteria for school nutrition had limits due to COVID-19 protocols and constraints. Therefore, this year we will celebrate ALL 30 registered schools cafeterias with a personalized poster to display showing our gratitude, bringing our countywide total to 68 sites. A listing of all recognized sites can be found at sites.letsgo.org.
The 68 sites are prioritizing healthy habits, by making the healthy choice, the easy choice. “Aroostook County registered sites have gone above and beyond to help create spaces where the healthy choice is the easy choice for our children. They’ve found creative ways use Let’s Go! strategies to provide increased time for physical activity, promote drinking more water, use tactics for making healthy foods more appealing, and much more,” said Renee Bragdon, Coordinator of the Aroostook county Let’s Go! Program. “The program has expanded beyond prevention, and often provides online training and resources which many of our County sites are participating in.”
Introduced in 2012, the Let’s Go! Recognition Program identifies and celebrates schools, out-of-school programs, child care programs and health care practices for their role in improving the health of all children. The program focuses on sustainable change. A Bronze award reflects a site implementing the program’s five, evidence-based priority strategies, Silver acknowledges a site that has communicated these changes to parents and family members. Gold, the highest level of recognition, is reserved for sites that have written all five priority strategies into policy. Hundreds of Let’s Go! Sites across Maine and the Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire were recognized. A listing of all recognized sites can be found at sites.letsgo.org.