North Augusta Elementary School has been named one of 16 South Carolina public schools that earned the S.C. School Improvement Council's honor roll for 2009. The SC-SIC organization recognized the schools for their significant efforts to foster civic engagement in public education. All the honor roll schools will continue in the running for the SC-SIC's annual Dick and Tunky Riley School Improvement Award. The School Improvement Council at North Augusta Elementary School has long been active, Principal Dr. Angela Burkhalter said. "For the past year, they've been involved in promoting wellness through Nutrition Weeks, nutrition information on lunchroom tables, a running club and exercise opportunities for the staff," she said. The school and the School Improvement Council have enjoyed support from areas businesses and the Family Y, along with parents and other community members, Burkhalter said. About 30 faculty members are involved in a project, all trying to lose 25 pounds. "We've got the children involved in a lot of different aspects," she said. "They've done posters and are writing about healthy drinking water. It's a huge educational process." Burkhalter credited the efforts of past SIC Chair Shawna Lloyd, who had four children at the school last year, and current Chair Tracey Bennett, who has three children enrolled this year. The Riley award is named after the former governor and U.S. Secretary of Education and his late wife. The award was created in 2002 to recognize the contributions made by 15,000 local School Improvement Council members who volunteer in public schools throughout the state. Five finalists from the new honor roll schools will be selected in February, with one going on to win the award. The announcement will take place in Columbia this spring. Contact Rob Novit at rnovit@aikenstandard.com.