Friday, May 22, 2009


Washington, DC— Superintendent Roel A. Gonzalez of the Rio Grande City, Texas, Consolidated Independent School District, was among five national leaders who received the first-ever Leadership for Healthy Communities’ Healthy Community Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding elected and appointed officials representing schools and communities who have implemented innovative policies that can help prevent childhood obesity.

Leadership for Healthy Communities—a $10 million national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports state and local policy-makers in their efforts to reduce childhood obesity through policies that promote active living and healthy eating— recognized Superintendent Gonzalez during an awards dinner on the first evening of its second biennial Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit. The summit was held on May 7-8, 2009 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington.

“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of my colleagues and the 10,000 kids in the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District,” said Superintendent Gonzalez. “It is rewarding for Rio Grande to be recognized for our efforts as it’s always been my philosophy that lessons are not just about reading, writing and math but about living healthy and having long, enjoyable lives.”

While serving a school district in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the nation, Superintendent Gonzalez created a new school wellness program that revamped lunch and breakfast menus—eliminating unhealthy foods, adding healthier items and ensuring each school has a full-service kitchen—and he added innovative physical activity opportunities. He introduced track meets, pee wee football and other events, and incorporated an evidence-based physical activity curriculum, the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program, into the school day.

More than 130 policy-makers from the state, local and school district level joined federal legislators and childhood obesity policy experts as participants in this year’s summit. The summit is designed to help policy leaders advance healthy eating and active living options in their communities. Special emphasis is placed on collaborative policy approaches that address childhood obesity among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the epidemic.

Chosen from more than 40 nominees representing states, localities and school districts, the other award winners include: Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City; Darwin Hindman, mayor of Columbia, Mo.; Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco; and Claude Ramsey, mayor of Hamilton County, Tenn.

“We are excited to give this award to Superintendent Gonzalez because of his demonstrated commitment to supporting healthy kids and healthy communities,” said Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Ph.D., director of Leadership for Healthy Communities. “His outstanding efforts in his district represent a shining example that can be replicated by other schools across the country.”
nnFor more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment