Eisenhower elementary school is the recipient of a Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Habits for Living grant for a program to be team taught for kindergarteners and first graders this spring, it was announced in a press release last week.
The $995.13 grant is just shy of the $1,000 maximum offered. It will be used to purchase copies of three pieces of children’s literature for use in the classrooms and the library, healthy foods, and other incidental items, according to Eisenhower’s principal, Tricia Reiser.
The grant, written by school nurse Millie Hill, will focus on different areas of healthy habits which will be taught using the stories Monster Ate My Peas, Dragon Who Couldn’t Do Sporty Things, and Miss Fox’s Class Shapes Up, taught by school librarian Melia Boeh.
Hill will then provide lessons on the importance of healthy eating. The students will choose healthy snacks for the classroom over the course of the program, which some of the grant money will be used to purchase. Information will be given to students and parents teaching the different food groups and what amounts of each are needed for a healthy diet, what foods are healthy snacks, and how eating right and exercising will promote lifelong health.
Eisenhower’s gym teacher, Todd Kaiser, will use daily P.E. time to focus on teaching appropriate and fun physical fitness activities that will promote lifelong physical activity skills.
The hoped for outcome, Reiser said, is as children begin to choose healthy snacks for the classroom, they’ll begin to ask for them at home too.
“Kindergartners and first graders are very open about new things they try,” she said. “We hope as they share, we’ll hear things like, “We tried a mango,” or other fruits and vegetables.”
Each week, Kaiser tests each K-1 student using the President’s physical fitness criteria. Students should improve their strength, speed, agility and endurance as they adopt these healthy habits.
This is the second time the school has received a grant in the past eight years. Two years ago, the school won a similar grant that was used to teach healthy habits to third graders.