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Devon Forest Elementary claims wellness trophy for 3rd year

Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018

DFE representatives with the wellness trophy

Representatives of Devon Forest Elementary take a photo with the 2018 MUSC BCCW School Wellness Checklist trophy. (BCSD photo)

You know you’re doing something right when you win a competition for the third time. Such is the case for Devon Forest Elementary.

Healthy living isn’t just a goal at the school in Goose Creek. At Devon Forest, healthy living has become a culture that builds year-by-year.

MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness (BCCW) recognized the culture cultivated by committees, staff members, students and parents last week. Devon Forest was the MUSC BCCW’s School Wellness Checklist grand prize winner for 2018. While rules have kept the DFE Dragons from winning three years in a row, the school has claimed a trophy and $1,000 cash prize every other year since first winning in 2014.

“It’s something we believe in,” DFE Principal Cristie Mitchum said.

Mrs. Mitchum said winning so often with such competition is a true reflection of what is happening at the school.

“We’ve just worked really hard as a team to bring healthiness to our school,” she said. “I think the thing we are most proud of is that we’ve sustained it.”

Money won during the MUSC BCCW challenge is supposed to go right back into health initiatives at the school. While DFE cannot win in 2019, Mrs. Mitchum said she expects the school will make several changes or improvements worth bragging about. The school’s wellness committee, led by English (ESOL) teacher Mrs. Kristina Mathieu will meet and decide how to divide up the winnings.

“We can’t technically win it next year, but she (Mrs. Mathieu) will keep it at a high level,” Mrs. Mitchum said.

Though the win was a team effort involving everyone in the building, Mrs. Mitchum said Mrs. Mathieu really spearheaded efforts.  From taste-testing with the food and nutrition manager to working in a garden with students, “she took it to a whole new level,” Mrs. Mitchum said.

DFE wasn’t alone in excellence this year. Daniel Island School and J.K. Gourdin Elementary each received $500 and finished as runners up among Berkeley County Schools.

This year marks the fifth year that BCSD schools have participated in the MUSC BCCW School Wellness Checklist, which is a simple, evidence-based program created to motivate schools and districts to make policy changes and create environments that improve nutrition and increase physical activity. The program is primarily funded by Boeing and is supplemented by other grants.

MUSC BCCW worked with 11 South Carolina school districts for the 2018 competition, and of those, 30 BCSD schools qualified for awards.


Brian Troutman