The American Association for Health Education (AAHE) and HealthTeacher, an online health education curriculum, presented Eldersburg Elementary School with the Blue Apple Award for Health Education in recognition for their leadership and commitment in providing quality health education that promotes healthy behaviors and increased student learning for all students. They were recognized at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Conference in April.

Eldersburg Elementary is the only elementary school in the nation to receive the award this year. The Blue Apple Awards program recognizes up to 12 school health education programs that demonstrate best practices and show coordination with other components of school health.

“I am thrilled that Eldersburg Elementary School was presented with this prestigious and important award,” said Michael Eisenklam, principal. "Our health teacher, Jessica Reid, is an amazing educator who deserves this honor. The powerful lessons that she delivers will provide life-long benefits to our students."

The health program at Eldersburg Elementary School focuses instruction on the development of higher level thinking skills, and a mastery of health skills among all students. The purpose of their efforts is to help the entire school community see the value of wellness in all its facets, in order to lead the healthiest, most productive lives possible. Technology integration and hands-on lessons are developed and tailored to differentiate instruction. Comprehension, application, and synthesis of knowledge are evaluated using a variety of summative and formative assessments.

“It is important for all of us to eat healthy to stay healthy," said health teacher Jessica Reid. "I want to teach our children to make healthier choices now so they will continue to make healthy choices throughout their lives. I’m always looking for additional ways to promote a healthy way of living for our students.”

Applications were submitted and reviewed by the AAHE School Health Education Recognition Awards Committee, and schools receiving a score of at least 80 points were eligible to be recognized. The criteria are based on the best practices for discipline as outlined in National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence and Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula.

To meet the requirements, applicants must implement a comprehensive health education program that positively impacts the lives of students, and show coordination between health education and other components of school health.

Eldersburg Elementary School received a trip to the 2011 AAHPERD Convention held in San Diego, a year subscription to HealthTeacher, and a one-year membership to AAHPERD and AAHE. They were also recognized at the AAHE Awards Luncheon and the HealthTeacher Blue Apple Awards Reception in April. For more information on the Blue Apple Award, visit

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