Mary B. Austin and Pearl Haskew elementary schools received $10,000 Be Healthy grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
Physical education teachers at both schools will use their money to teach students about nutrition and to encourage them to exercise as part of the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) program.
Jeff Adams, Community Relations Manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield, challenged the students as he and his team presented checks at both schools.
“To get this grant, I’m going to ask that you do a couple of things for us,” he said to attentive crowds of children.
“First, that you go outside and play every day,” he said, to which the crowd at Mary B. Austin, gathered on the playground, shouted, “Yes sir.”
“Second, that you eat nutritious food,” he said, adding, “and that you listen to your teachers and do your homework.”
Both crowds enthusiastically agreed.
Besides the $10,000 grants, physical education teachers at both schools received $500 for professional development.
Statewide, 33 schools received Be Healthy grants of up to $10,000.
“Kids need to learn at an early age how to be healthy,” said Mary B. Austin P.E. teacher Carla Regan. “We try to instill in them at a young age to be active, to eat healthy and to get plenty of rest so that they will hopefully carry that with them home and out into the community.”
Adams said it’s a great investment for Blue Cross Blue Shield to encourage these healthy habits that will hopefully continue on into adulthood.
Michelle Brenton, a P.E. teacher at Pearl Haskew Elementary, already has the perfect plan on how to spend the grant money.
“Guys,” she said to her students gathered in the gym during the presentation ceremony, “we’re going to buy lots of equipment to play our ‘Keep Moving,” she said, receiving a roaring round of applause.
“I appreciate this,” Brenton added, “and our school really appreciates this.”