BELLFLOWER – Bellflower Unified’s Project APPLE after-school program on Thursday was named a winner of the state’s Distinguished After School Health (DASH) program certificate for promoting healthy living through its curriculum, daily snack and activities.

This is the first award of the DASH certificate, developed by the California Department of Education in response to 2014 legislation from state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, calling for recognition of after-school programs that excel in providing health education, nutrition and physical activities. The award went to 187 schools statewide and 34 in Los Angeles County, including the seven Bellflower Unified elementary campuses that provide the Project APPLE program.

“Project APPLE is an extraordinary program that provides a rich curriculum that engages and inspires our students to succeed,” Superintendent Dr. Brian Jacobs said. “We are proud of our team of dedicated support staff and educators for earning this award on its very first year.”

APPLE stands for Afterschool Program Promoting Learning and Enrichment. The program has operated for more than 15 years at Bellflower Unified’s seven Title I elementary schools – Albert Baxter, Thomas Jefferson, Ernie Pyle, Ramona, Washington, Craig Williams and Frank E. Woodruff.

The program serves nearly 800 students, offering an array of hands-on programs in literature, math and science in which students become detectives and scientists. Students participate in daily exercise and in a structured sports program, and engage in clubs and arts and crafts. Healthy living is embedded into the program through the daily snack, a Harvest of the Month program, nutrition education and education topics.

Waiting lists exist at most sites. For more information about the program, call 562-461-2241.