The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 by the USDA's Food & Nutrition Service to recognize those schools participating in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The initiative certifies individual schools at four award levels based on the extent of their meeting a series of criteria having to do with participation, the prevalence of fruits, vegetables and grains in school meals and factors like nutrition education, physical activity and the composition of a la carte and competitive foods.

The four award levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction. They are based on an escalating level of compliance with Challenge goals in each criterion category. For example, a Bronze school serves one fresh fruit a week, Silver serves two, Gold three and Gold of Distinction four at lunch. The Gold Award of Distinction level obviously has achieved the highest levels of compliance across the board.

According to the HealthierUS School Challenge website, there are currently 424 schools across the country that have achieved the Gold Award of Distinction level, as of early May. The states with the most schools at this level are Alabama (76), Louisiana (66), Texas (37), Virginia (37) and California (32). Fifteen states don't have any Gold Award of Distinction schools and another 18 have at least one but less than five.

Among individual districts, several stand out. St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana has 27 Gold Award of Distinction schools, Fairfax County School District in Virginia has 24 and Shelby County Schools in Alabama boasts 20.

What follows is the list of districts and individual schools by state that have received Gold Award of Distrinction certification...

ALABAMA

Andalusia City School District: Andalusia Elementary School 

Anniston City Schools: Cobb Elementary School, Constantine Elementary School, Golden Springs Elementary School, Randolph Park Elementary School, Tenth Street Elementary School 

Boaz City Schools: Boaz Intermediate School
Calhoun County Schools: Saks Elementary School, Walter Wellborn Elementary School, White Plains Elementary School 

Chilton County School District: Jemison Elementary School
Fayette County School District: Fayette Elementary School
Geneva County School District: Geneva County Elementary School, Samson Elementary School, Slocomb Elementary School 

Guntersville City Schools: Guntersville Elementary School
Homewood City School District: Edgewood Elementary School, Hall Kent Elementary School, Shades Cahaba Elementary School
Hoover City School District: Bluff Park Elementary School, Rocky Ridge Elementary School, Shades Mountain Elementary School, Trace Crossing Elementary School 

Jefferson County School District: Clay Elementary School, North Highland Elementary School
Lee County School District: Smith Station Elementary School, Smith Station Primary School
Lee County District VII: Beauregard Elementary School, Sanford Middle School 

Madison County Schools: Harvest Elementary School
Marshall County School District: Claysville Jr. High School, Union Grove Elementary School 

Midfield City Schools: Midfield Elementary School
Mobile County Public Schools: Craighead Elementary School, Forest Hill Elementary School
Montgomery County Schools: Garrett Elementary School, Meadowlane Elementary School, Phenix City Elementary School, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Sherwood Elementary School, Westview Elementary School
Muscle Shoals City Schools: Highland Park Elementary School, Orchard Elementary School, Spencer-Westlawn Elementary School, W. D. Robbins Elementary School
Shelby County Schools: Calera Elementary School, Calera Intermediate/Middle School, Chelsea Intermediate School, Chelsea Park Elementary School, Creek View Elementary School, Elvin Hill Elementary School, Helena Elementary School, Helena Intermediate School, Inverness Elementary School, Meadow View Elementary School, Montevallo Elementary School, Mt. Laurel Elementary School, Oak Mountain Elementary School, Oak Mountain Intermediate School, Shelby Elementary School, Thompson Intermediate School, Valley Elementary School, Valley Intermediate School, Vincent Elementary School, Wilsonville Elementary School 

Sylacauga City Schools: Pinecrest Elementary School, Indian Valley Elementary School 

Talladega City Schools: Houston Elementary School 

Talladega County Schools: B.B. Comer Elementary School, Childersburg Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Stemley Road Elementary School, Sycamore Elementary School, Watwood Elementary School 

Thomasville City Schools: Thomasville Elementary School 

Wilcox County Schools: F.S. Ervin Elementary School
 

ARKANSAS

Springdale Public Schools: Gene George Elementary School, JB Hunt Elementary School, Thurman G. Smith Elementary School, Westwood Elementary School 

 

CALIFORNIA

Bakersfield City School District: Frank West Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Hort Elementary School
Covina-Valley Unified School District: Traweek Middle School
Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District: Cutler Elementary School, El Monte Middle School, Golden Valley Elementary School, Palm Elementary School, Yettem Continuation High School
Hemet Unified School District: Bautista Creek Elementary School, Cawston Elementary School, Cottonwood School, Fruitvale Elementary School, Glassell Park Elementary School, Hamilton School, Harmony Elementary School, Jacob Wiens Elementary School, Little Lake Elementary School, Lorena Elementary School, McSweeney Elementary School, Ramona Elementary School, Valle Vista Elementary School, Whittier Elementary School, Winchester Elementary School
Paradise School District: Paradise Elementary School
Salida Union School District: Salida Middle School, Dena Boer Elementary School, Salida Elementary School, Sisk Elementary School
Shiloh School District: Shiloh Elementary School
Stanislaus County Office of Education: Peterson Alternative Center for Education
 

COLORADO

National Jewish Health: Kunsberg School
Thompson School District R2-J: B.F. Kitchen Elementary School
 

FLORIDA

Alachua County School District: Metcalfe Elementary School, M.K. Rawlings Elementary School
Lee County School District: Bonita Springs Elementary School
Polk County School District
: Horizons Elementary School
Putnam County School District: Middleton-Burney Elementary School
Santa Rosa County School District: Bagdad Elementary School, Berryhill Elementary School, Chumuckla Elementary School, East Milton Elementary School, Holley Navarre Intermediate School, Holley Navarre Middle School, Holley Navarre Primary School, Russell Elementary School, W.H. Rhodes Elementary School 

 

GEORGIA

Dawson County Schools: Black's Mill Elementary School, Riverview Elementary School, Riverview Middle School
 

IDAHO

Middleton School District #134: Middleton Middle School
Gooding School District: Gooding Elementary School 

 

ILLINOIS

Chicago Public School District #299: Academy for Global Citizenship School, Namaste Charter School
CUSD #300: Golfview Elementary School
Fairview School District #72: Fairview South School
Payson Community Unit District 1: Payson Seymour Elementary School
Prairie Central CUSD #8: Chenoa Elementary School
South Berwyn District #100: Freedom Middle School, Heritage Middle School, Hiawatha Elementary School, Komensky Elementary School, Pershing Elementary School, Piper Elementary School 

 

INDIANA

Fort Wayne Community Schools: Mabel K. Holland Elementary School 

South Bend Community School Corporation: McKinley Primary Center
 

IOWA

Indianola Public Schools: Indianola Middle School
Knoxville Community School District: Knoxville Middle School
Norwalk Community School District: Lakewood Elementary School 

St. Augustin School District: St. Augustin School
West Des Moines Community School District: Phenix Early Childhood Center 

 

KANSAS

Prairie Hills USD #113: Summerfield Elementary School 

Unified School District  #225: Fowler Grade School 
X0618 Catholic Diocese of Wichita: St. Joseph Catholic School 

 

LOUISIANA

Bogalusa City Schools: Byrd Avenue Elementary School
Calcasieu Parish School System: Barbe Elementary School, DeQuincy Primary School 

Firstline Schools: Arthur Ashe Charter School, John Dibert Community School, Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, Langston Hughes Academy, Samuel J. Green Charter School

Iberville Parish: Dorseyville Elementary School, East Iberville Elementary and High School, Iberville Elementary School, North Iberville Elementary School

Lafayette Parish: Broadmoor Elementary School, Carencro Heights Elementary School, Charles M. Burke Elementary School, Duson Elementary School, J. Wallace James Elementary School, Katharine Drexel Elementary School, Live Oak Elementary School, Myrtle Place Elementary School, Plantation Elementary School, Prairie Elementary School, Ridge Elementary School, Westside Elementary School 

Orleans Parish: Audubon Charter School-Broadway, Audubon Charter School-Carrollton, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Edward Hynes Charter School, Einstein Charter School, James Singleton Charter School, Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, Mary Bethune Elementary School, McDonough 42 Charter School, McDonough City Park Academy, Robert Lusher Charter School, Robert Russa Moton Charter School 

St. Tammany Parish: Abita Springs Elementary School, Abney Elementary School, Alton Elementary School, Bayou Woods Elementary School, Boone Ecole Elementary School, Brock Elementary School, Chahta-Ima Elementary School, Covington Elementary School, Cypress Cove Elementary School, Fifth Ward Jr. High School, Florida Avenue Elementary School, Folsom Elementary School, Henry L. Mayfield Elementary School, Honey Island Elementary School, Lancaster Elementary School, Lee Road Jr. High School, Little Pearl Elementary School, Lyon Elementary School, Madisonville Elementary School, Magnolia Trace Elementary School, Mandeville Elementary School, Marigny Elementary School, Pontchartrain Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School, Sixth Ward Elementary School, Whispering Forest Elementary School, Woodlake Elementary School
West Baton Rouge School District: Brusly Elementary School, Lukeville Upper Elementary School, Port Allen Elementary School 

 

MAINE

Mount Desert Island Regional School System: Mount Desert Elementary School 

 

MARYLAND

Kent County Public Schools: Henry Highland Garnett Elementary School

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Needham Public Schools: High Rock Middle School
 

MICHIGAN

Grand Rapids Public Schools: Gerald R. Ford Middle School 

Roscommon Area Public Schools: Roscommon Middle School
Vista Maria School District: Vista Maria Clara B. Ford School 

 

MINNESOTA

Bemidji Area Schools ISD #31: Central Elementary School, Horace May Elementary School, J.W. Smith Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Northern Elementary School, Solway Elementary School 

Burnsville ISD #191: Edward Neill Elementary School, Gideon Pond Elementary School, Harriet Bishop Elementary School, Hidden Valley Elementary School, Marion W. Savage Elementary School, Rahn Elementary School, Sioux Trail Elementary School, Sky Oaks Elementary School, Vista View Elementary School, William Byrne Elementary School

 

MISSISSIPPI

Columbus Municipal School District: Franklin Academy Medical Sciences and Wellness Magnet School
Forest Municipal School District: Forest Elementary School, Forest High School, Hawkins Middle School
Hattiesburg Public School District: Grace Christian Elementary School, Hattiesburg High School, Hawkins Elementary School, Lillie Burney Elementary School, Mary Bethune Alternative School, N.R. Burger Middle School, Rowan Elementary School, Thames Elementary School, Woodley Elementary School 

Lamar County School District: Oak Grove Primary School, Purvis Lower Elementary School, Purvis Upper Elementary School, Purvis Middle School, Purvis High School, Baxterville School
 

MONTANA

Billings Public Schools: Riverside Middle School

Lockwood School District: Lockwood Intermediate School, Lockwood Middle School, Lockwood Primary School

Luther Elementary School District: Luther School
Winnett K-12 Schools: Winnett School, Winnett School 7-8, Winnet High School
 

NEBRASKA

Catholic Schools: Assumption-Guadalupe Catholic School 

 

NEW JERSEY

Long Branch School District: Long Branch Middle School
 

NEW YORK

Binghamton City School District: Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Calvin Coolidge Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School 

Tioga Central School District: Nichols Elementary School, Tioga Elementary School
 

NORTH CAROLINA

Macon County Schools: Cartoogechaye Elementary School, East Franklin Elementary School, Iotla Valley Elementary School, South Macon Elementary School
 

NORTH DAKOTA

District #128: Midway Public School
Grand Forks Public Schools: Ben Franklin Elementary School, Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School, Century Elementary School, Kelly Elementary School, Lake Agassiz Elementary School, Lewis & Clark Elementary School, Phoenix Elementary School, Viking Elementary School, West Elementary School, Wilder Elementary School, Winship Elementary School  
Lone Tree No. 6 School District: Golva Elementary School
Morton County: ND Youth Correctional Center - Marmot High School
North Border School District #100: Neche Elementary School
United #7 School District: Burlington Des Lacs Elementary School
 

OHIO

Clark County School District: Clark County Juvenile Court 

Orange School District: Gross Schechter Day School
 

OKLAHOMA

Shawnee Public Schools: Horace Mann Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Sequoyah Elementary School, Will Rogers Elementary School 

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Bucks County: Bucks County Youth Center
 

TENNESSEE

Coffee County School District: Deerfield Elementary School, East Coffee Elementary School, North Coffee Elementary School
Cumberland County School District: Pine View Elementary School
Giles County Schools: Richland Elementary School 

Hamilton County Department of Education: Orchard Knob Elementary School 

Hardin County School District: East Hardin Elementary School, Hardin County Middle School, Northside Elementary School, Parris South Elementary School, Southside School, West Hardin Elementary School 

Perry County School District: Linden Middle School
Putnam County School District: Capshaw Elementary School
Tullahoma City Schools: Robert E. Lee School, East Lincoln Elementary School, Jack T Farrar Elementary School
 

TEXAS

Brazosport Independent School District: A.P. Beutel Elementary School, Bess Brannen Elementary School, Elisabet Ney Elementary School, Gladys Polk Elementary School, Jane Long Elementary School, O. A. Fleming Elementary School, O. M. Roberts Elementary School, Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, T. W. Ogg Elementary School, Velasco Elementary School 

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District: Bertram Elementary School, Burnet Elementary School, R.J. Richey Elementary School, Shady Grove Elementary School 

College Station Independent School District: College Hills Elementary School, Rock Prairie Elementary School, South Knoll Elementary School, Southwood Valley Elementary School 

Cuero Independent School District: Hunt Elementary School, John C. French Elementary School 

Dickinson Independent School District: Dunbar Middle School, Hughes Road Elementary School, John and Shamarion Barber Middle School, K. E. Little Elementary School, San Leon Elementary School 

Harper Independent School District: Harper Elementary School 

Klein Independent School District: Kaiser Elementary School, Eiland Elementary School, McDougle Elementary School 

La Porte Independent School District: Baker Junior High School 

Llano Independent School District: Llano Elementary School, Packsaddle Elementary School 

Midway Independent School District: Castleman Creek Elementary School 

Texas City Independent School District: Heights Elementary School, Kohfeldt Elementary School, Northside Elementary School, Roosevelt-Wilson Elementary School

 

VERMONT

Chittenden East Supervisory Union School District: Brewster Pierce Memorial School 

 

VIRGINIA

Albemarle County School District: Red Hill Elementary School 

Fairfax County School District: Annandale Terrace Elementary School, Beech Tree Elementary School, Braddock Elementary School, Bren Mar Park Elementary School, Bucknell Elementary School, Cameron Elementary School, Columbia Elementary School, Crestwood Elementary School, Dogwood Elementary School, Forestdale Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, Graham Road Elementary School, Groveton Elementary School, Hutchison Elementary School, Hybla Valley Elementary School, Lynbrook Elementary School, Mount Eagle Elementary School, Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School, Parklawn Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School, Westlawn Elementary School, Woodburn Elementary School, Woodlawn Elementary School, Woodley Hills Elementary School 

Prince William County School District: Antietam Elementary School, Bel Air Elementary School, Coles Elementary Schoo, Fitzgerald Elementary School, Kilby Elementary School, Loch Lomond Elementary School, Marumsco Hills Elementary School, Neabsco Elementary School, River Oaks Elementary School, Sinclair Elementary School, Sudley Elementary School, Yorkshire Elementary School
 

WASHINGTON

Highline Public Schools: Bow Lake Elementary School, Hazel Valley School, Hilltop Elementary School, McMicken Heights Elementary School, Midway Elementary School, Mount View Elementary School, Seahurst Elementary School 

Wahluke School District: Mattawa Elementary School, Morris Schott Elementary School, Saddle Mountain Elementary School 

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

DC Public Schools: Bruce Monroe Elementary School @ Park View, Raymond Education Campus

DC Public Charter Schools: DC Bilingual Public Charter School, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School
 

WEST VIRGINIA

Lincoln County School District: Duval PK-8 School, Guyan Valley Middle School, Hamlin PK-8 Elementary and Middle School, Harts Intermediate School, Harts Primary School, Lincoln County High School, Midway Elementary School, Ranger Elementary School, West Hamlin Elementary School
 

WISCONSIN

Norwalk Ontario Wilton School District: Norwalk Ontario Wilton Elementary School 
Sun Prairie Area School District: Westside Elementary School
West Salem School District: West Salem Elementary School