They did it!  Clay Elementary, after being one of the top 3 finalists last year, earned the honor as the #1 healthiest school in the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative this year! 

Mr. Taylor Bowie, Clay’s P.E. teacher, has spearheaded Clay’s efforts to ensure both students and staff have opportunities to be physically active every day. And that effort has been acknowledged by the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

Mr. Bowie says it’s the support from all of the staff that made this happen. 

“What is really cool is the support from everyone. When I approach Mrs. Morris our Principal, with new ideas and suggestions, she says ‘Let’s give it a try!’  All of our staff and our instructional coach support all the individual programs we do throughout the year that when pulled all together  – that’s what we did to win.” 

Principal Morris is completely on-board with getting and keeping Clay’s students healthy. 

“We are so proud of this honor! Mr. Bowie builds relationships with all of our staff. And our staff love trying new things – they dove right in!

We all embrace being healthy. Inside and out, hearts and minds. Students and staff.  We know that healthy students are happy students and do better in school. Staff too!” 

Their well-rounded strategy includes all aspects of health. For example, Mr. Bowie is a “Make it Ok” Ambassador. This statewide socio-emotional program is part of the Healthiest State Initiative and he uses the “Health Triangle” during PE class. The kitchen offers “Try It Wednesday Menus” and the building is offering healthy food and activities as rewards and during celebrations, like with sensory pathways in the halls. 

The staff participates in the Clay Cup. Every month, they come to the gym before school to compete in games and activities for the honor of winning the traveling trophy.

Some other noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • Kidstriders
  • First Tee
  • NFL Play 60
  • Hy-Vee Fit Kids
  • Going the Distance
  • 5-2-1-0
  • Hy-Vee Squat Challenge

To read more about all the building does, follow this link: Clay Elementary Healthiest State Initiative 2022

As a finalist, Clay was asked to submit a short video to be shared if they won. Check out what they created! Clay Elementary Healthiest State Initiative

Part of the award includes $5000 to use toward adding more healthy tools to their repertoire. The exact use of the funds is still being determined but they know it will be ways to ensure healthiness and to get kids up and moving! 

Thank you to Healthiest State for picking Clay Elementary! Everyone at Clay Elementary works hard to put the physical and emotional health of our students and staff at the forefront of all that they do!