HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has designated $250,000 for schools statewide through the Be Healthy School Grant Program.
The goal is to keep students healthy and active by helping schools create and implement new health and wellness programs that emphasize exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement during the school year.
Any school in the state with students in grades K through six can apply for the Be Healthy School Grant Program but only 25 will be chosen. Each school will then be awarded up to $10,000 worth of grants.
“This has proven to be a worthwhile investment,” said Jeff Adams, Community Relations Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. “We have had so many positive responses from schools throughout the state and we are just trying to form a partnership with schools to help them do things from a health standpoint, exercise standpoint, nutrition standpoint, parental involvement and we are all in this together.”
The big question though, how will this help the thousands of kids across the state taking remote classes?
Adams said some schools consider the long-term plan and invest in physical equipment to help students stay active on campus.
Other schools look at what health programs can be used right now during remote learning. For example, schools can invest in online fitness subscriptions, nutritional guides or really any platform that gets kids moving.
“We had a school who actually bought a subscription to a fitness tool…they played music and danced and the teacher shared the program with students,” Adams said. “These students were at the school but they socially distanced in the gym and they were able to project this technology on the wall. It’s all about keeping the kids moving!”
Before applying to the program, Adams encourages schools to brainstorm unique programs that will be worthwhile for students even when they get back to traditional learning.
“We do have things that we look for in our applications from the schools,” Adams said. “I think what will give particular schools an upper hand are those things that are durable. Those things that can perhaps be used not only for this upcoming year but for years to come. Because that 10,000 dollar investment will pay dividends for years down the road.”
Schools have until March 26 to submit an application, which can be found on the Blue Cross website at AlabamaBlue.com/schoolgrant.