Let’s Go!, a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program, announced that 12 schools, 31 school cafeterias, 4 out-of-school programs and 35 childcare programs in Aroostook County are being recognized for their positive impact on children’s health.

Sites strive to instill a positive relationship with food and enthusiasm for healthy choices.  98 percent of the sites limit or eliminate sugary drinks and promote water as the drink of choice and 95 percent of sites prohibit the use of food as a reward.

Katharine Putnam, Let’s Go! Aroostook County Coordinator, explains the approach behind Let’s Go!  “We believe healthy habits make happy kids and that’s why we’re dedicated to decreasing childhood obesity one healthy choice at a time.”

The Let’s Go! Recognition program was introduced in 2012 and focuses on sustainable change by identifying out-of-school programs, childcare programs and health care practices for their role in improving the health of all children.

A Bronze award reflects a site implementing the program’s five priority strategies, Silver acknowledges a site that has communicated these changes to parents and family members. Gold, the highest level of recognition, is reserved for sites that have put all five-priority strategies into policy or have school staff participate on the district’s wellness committee.

Of the 1306 sites across 263 towns that Let’s Go! partners with, 70 percent met the criteria for recognition, a 3 percent increase from 2017.