Plum elementary honored for student health |

Plum elementary honored for student health

Michael DiVittorio

Plum School District’s Center Elementary is one of multiple Southwestern Pennsylvania schools to be recognized for its yearlong participation in Women for a Healthy Environment’s Healthy Schools Program.

The Healthy Schools Summit is set for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Double Tree Hilton in Green Tree.

Women for a Healthy Environment is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that educates and empowers community members about environmental risks that impact public health.

Center Principal Jason Knisely said his school has made great strides in student health and related education, and is grateful for the recognition.

“Center Elementary has continued to encourage programs that create a sustainable and innovative learning environment,” he said. “This is shown through the implementation of our student-run business, Center Grows, our Aquaponics program and our brand-new outdoor Learning Garden. Our efforts include eco-friendly water filling stations installed in our school, growing food for our cafeteria and community, and lessons focused on real-life learning. We are more than honored to be recognized for these efforts and will continue to strive for continued improvements that benefit our students and community”

Healthy Schools PA, a program of Women for a Healthy Environment, will address solutions to preventing environmental hazards such as lead in the school environment at the event.

The keynote address is expected to be delivered by Erika Eitland, manager at the Schools for Health Lab at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her talk will focus on how school buildings influence student health, thinking and performance.

Summit experts also will cover topics ranging from the basics of creating a healthy school, teaching resiliency in the classroom, whole-school sustainability and a primer on school grant proposals.

“Educating and informing parents, educators and administrators is central to our mission, and we look forward to engaging these crucial advocates for the health and well-being of our children,” said Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, executive director of Women for a Healthy Environment. “We are also excited to honor schools that have taken steps to improve their environments. They serve as excellent role models and mentors for other schools in the community.”

Other schools to be honored include Steel Valley School District’s elementary, middle and high schools; Bethlehem Center School District; Pittsburgh Public Schools; South Fayette School District; and Riverview School District’s Verner and Tenth Street elementary schools.

“It is important for all adults who work in and around our children, whether they be teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, volunteers, secretaries or technicians, to seek out ways to meet the needs of our students,” Riverview Superintendent Peggy DiNinno said. “Everyone plays a role.”

DiNinno also commended director of buildings and grounds Albert Pater and staffers for their hard work and proactive approaches to monitoring and preventing environmental hazards at Riverview schools.

Limited seating is available for the summit. Cost is $40, which includes meals. Scholarships and discounts for parents as well as Act 48 and nursing CEUs are available.

For details, call 412-404-2872 or visit

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Plum
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