2013 City of Minneapolis Local Hero Award

Loring and Lucy Laney earn Local Hero Awards

MINNEAPOLIS – Loring and Lucy Laney community schools are among the recipients of the 2013 City of Minneapolis Local Hero Awards recognizing the contributions of community partners to strengthen the health of the city. The awards are part of the city’s celebration of National Public Health Week, which runs from April 1 through 7.

The city will host an awards ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, in the City Hall Rotunda at 350 S. 5th St. Loring and Lucy Laney are among the seven individuals and organizations receiving the award. The theme for this year’s National Public Health Week is “ROI (Return on Investment): Save Lives, Save Money.”

Staff, students and families of Loring Community School were selected for their strong commitment to wellness through the school’s award-winning community garden and Kids Cook program. Kids Cook combines elements of math, reading and science with lessons in cooking, gardening, nutrition and nature. The school also provides additional physical education opportunities and promotes school-wide walk and bike to school days.

Loring Principal Ryan Gibbs said the school community strives to educate the whole child, including developing healthy habits and skills at an early age.

“The Hero Award really validates all the amazing work that our staff, students, families and community members put forth each and every day to help promote health and wellness here at Loring school,” Gibbs said. “We believe that our health and wellness initiatives have a direct impact on student achievement by helping them stay healthy and focused on learning.”

Lucy Laney will be recognized for promoting active living through the school’s Safe Routes to School, International Walk to School Day, walking club, staff-led Walking School Buses, a shared bike fleet (with Nellie Stone Johnson and Loring) and an after-school bike club. These efforts are guided by the school Wellness Committee and championed by middle school administrator Lisa Pawelak and school nurse Jessica Findell. Lucy Laney Principal Mauri Melander said her school community was honored to be recognized with the award.