Two Mobile County Public Schools received $10,000 grants this week to fund projects promoting health and fitness at their schools.
E.R. Dickson and Dixon elementary schools were among 27 schools around the state awarded Be Healthy School grants from BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. E.R. Dickson will use its grant to install a rock-climbing wall, while Dixon will use its $10,000 to build a track.
“A lot of the faculty here runs, so they want to get these children running and active so they have a healthy life, a healthy body, a healthy mind, and that hopefully will spread to their homes,” said Dixon Principal Michelle McNew, adding that the school has plans to start a running club for its students. “We believe in making sure the whole child is well taken care of. If their body is healthy, their mind will be healthy, they’re better able to learn and achieve.”
E.R. Dickson Principal Katryna Kinn echoed McNew’s thoughts about the link between healthy bodies and active minds. One way her school promotes this idea is by providing a fitness room for use by its students.
“The research indicates there’s a direct link between good health and academic success,” Kinn said. “We are committed to developing the whole child. With this grant, this will be made possible as we involve the entire school and the entire community with our health awareness and fitness efforts that focus on nutrition, physical activity obesity prevention and decreasing chronic conditions.”
Sophie Martin, Media Manager for BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, presented the awards during ceremonies at each school on Tuesday.
“We had over 100 schools across Alabama apply for a Be Healthy School grant,” Martin said. “We are just so happy that two of the schools right here in Mobile County were awarded that school grant. … That validates that they want to implement health and wellness initiatives in their schools, and that’s what BlueCross is all about. We’re about doing everything we can to instill healthy habits at an early age so in the long run, we can have a healthier Alabama.”