JACKMAN — Forest Hills School was awarded a $500 Community Transformation Grant from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Central Public Health District and the United Way of Mid-Maine for the school’s work in offering healthy food options and increasing physical activity time.

The Forest Hills School Board recently updated the district’s Wellness Policy to eliminate the use of sugar-sweetened beverages — artificial and otherwise — during the school day and to ensure that food served in the cafeteria will be prepared as close to the natural state of the food as possible. The vending machine now offers only water or natural juice. The elementary school is also increasing physical activity through the use of “brain gym” and other movement activities that foster improved concentration and focus in students, among other benefits.

The school’s indoors and outside gardens, led by community and school board member Danielle Hale and Joe “Farmer Joe” Bergeron, have provided the school with year round harvests of fresh greens, tomatoes, potatoes and herbs.

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