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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/27/13) – Pride Elementary School has been selected to receive an Owensboro Health Community Benefit Well-ness Grant for the third consecutive year. The value of this year’s award is $8,850.

PES was chosen from among 39 organizations and schools within Owensboro Health’s service area to share in $579,000 in grant funding.
 
Pride’s grant application was written by teachers Kelly Gates and Christy Lynn.
 
Pride’s grant targets four main goals:
• Increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables for grades K-5.
• Provide nutritional and fitness education to grades K-5 through partnerships.
• Open Family Wellness Nights to all families K-5 through partnerships.
• Offer a year-long activity-based fitness program utilizing Sqord wristbands for grades 3-5.
 
The school received $2,550 more than last year in an effort to better reach the fourth target which was originally addressed using pedometers in year one and paper logs tracking minutes the year two. The school will use the Sqord wristband program to track each child’s fitness minutes and levels. Students will also be able to send “positive, predetermined” messages of encouragement to each other over the internet. By revamping their strategies to target their fitness program goal, they hope to see students take more ownership of their personal wellness by scanning their own wristbands at docking stations within common areas of the school.
 
“Teachers and parents will no longer have to keep paper records,” Gates said, “which places more responsibility on the student, thus helping them to be more aware of their personal wellness.”

Parents of students in grades 3-5 will be able to sign up their child for participation in the Sqord fitness program by signing an agreement to check out the wristband in October. It must be returned in May.

Lynn will purchase and distribute fruits and vegetables weekly to all students.
 
“I will be responsible for calculating Pre and Post BMI measurements of all 3rd-5th graders for our future data analysis at the end of our implementation period. This will measure the grant’s impact,” Lynn said. “I will also be scheduling community leaders to work with students during the school day. Kelly collaborates with community agencies and teachers within the building to host wellness centers at Family Nights to achieve our outreach goals.”
 
Gates said, “We feel we have been chosen for this grant award multiple times because our initial health concerns have improved for the past two years. According to school nurse Kathy Franklin, before the grant program started, about 1 in every 3 students was referred to a physician for obesity concerns. Since the program’s implementation, the referral rate has dropped to 1 in 4.”
 
Franklin has also said students seem to be more aware of healthier lifestyle choices.
 
“When students have their physical needs met, then we can better meet their academic and social needs,” Gates said.
 
Pride has also been chosen for a National PTA Wellness Grant of $2,000 to further target these goals.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Lori Harrison

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