FBISD schools receive Oliver Foundation Grants to support Health Initiatives
The Oliver Foundation awarded Healthy Choices Grants to three Fort Bend ISD schools – Dulles Middle School, Missouri City Middle School and Oyster Creek Elementary School – to support their efforts in developing innovative programs to help improve students’ nutrition and physical activity habits.
The Oliver Foundation awarded a $3,000 Campus Grade Level Grant to Missouri City Middle School for the purchase of a Fender Blender Pro, a blender bike from Rock the Bike. The human powered, stationary blender bike is allowing students and staff to spin their way to health as they prepare smoothies. The bike has an actual blender attached to it that works as someone pedals the bike. The faster you pedal, the quicker it blends.
“We are so excited and grateful to The Oliver Foundation,” said Karen Crittenden, school nurse. “Our goal is to continue to generate excitement about being healthy and to encourage everyone to increase their physical activity and eat more nutritious meals.”
The blender bike is used school-wide. Health teachers use the bike as a healthy incentive for students to make fruit and vegetable-based smoothies with low-fat dairy. The blender bike is also used as a healthy and fun icebreaker at faculty meetings. The Human Services class uses it to make healthy spreads like hummus and pesto. The Teens Against Tabacco Use (TATU) and Move It! club members use the bike at outreach events to teach others about healthy lifestyles. The bike is even being used by custodians and cafeteria employees during their lunch and afternoon breaks.
Pictured with their grant award at Missouri City Middle School are (from left): Dr. Jesus Acosta, Principal; Michael James, Coach; Lola Washington, Health Teacher; Sandy Bristow, Program Director, The Oliver Foundation; Stephanie Kellam, UnitedHealthcare Student Wellness Coordinator; Karen Crittenden, School Nurse; and Deborah Woehler, Executive Director, The Oliver Foundation.
Shown with the blender bike are (from left): Ivan Sanchez, Kalyn Parks, Coach Michael James, Kevin Butler, Dominique Scott, Marla McNeal-Sheppard, FBISD Assistant Superintendent; Karen Crittenden, School Nurse; Bayli Mosley, Angel Johnson, Lola Washington, Health Teacher; and Dr. Jesus Acosta, Principal. With the $1,000 Individual Teacher Grant he received from The Oliver Foundation, Dulles Middle School P.E. and Health teacher, Harry Hall, is implementing the EEE (Eat, Exercise, Enjoy) Program that addresses childhood obesity. “By implementing the EEE early intervention program, my aim is that students will become advocates for good health as they grow to understand how important nutrition is in the battle against obesity,” said Hall. “If students take responsibility for their health early on, they can impact their quality of life in the future.” Through the EEE Program, Hall helps students focus on two main health components: Food and Nutrition, and Physical Fitness and Wellness. The overall program is designed to supplement the FBISD health curriculum and enhance lesson plans and daily delivery of health material. A “toss the ball out” activity is used to conduct warm-up and closing activities. Games such as Nutrition Bingo and Quiz Show are also incorporated into the curriculum, as well as PowerPoint presentations on nutrition, development of personal fitness programs and conducting nutrition surveys. As a culminating activity, students will receive certificates and complete a pledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Shown at Dulles Middle School during the Oliver Foundation grant presentation are (from left to right): Yvanna Hubbard, Evan Holland, Michael Heinzen, Dulles Middle School Principal; Harry Hall, P.E./Health Teacher; Deborah Woehler, Executive Director, The Oliver Foundation; Sandy Bristow, Program Director, The Oliver Foundation; Malik Sadruddin, and Zoe Ferris-Hughes. The $2,000 Campus Grade Level Oliver Foundation Grant presented to Oyster Creek Elementary School is being put to good use as it supports development of a Student Yoga Club. “We wanted to explore innovative ways to encourage students to make healthy choices for life, while developing a health program that appealed to non-traditional athletes,” said Nancy Cartie, school nurse. The pilot Yoga Club currently welcomes 24 students who meet for 30 minutes before school with Nurse/Counselor Aide, Stacy Farrugia, who leads them in instruction. To enter the club, students are required to complete an application based on teacher recommendations. All club members then receive a Zen garden and a copy of the Yoga Kids Deck of Positions, which they are allowed to keep at the end of the semester. Students not only practice yoga, they also discuss the importance of eating five fruits and vegetables each day, choosing healthy snacks and staying hydrated. “Through the Yoga Club, we are able to introduce students to an alternate form of exercise that they can do anytime, anywhere for the rest of their lives,” said Farrugia.
Shown at Oyster Creek Elementary School are (from left) Joy Schwinger, Principal; Nancy Cartie, School Nurse; Stacy Farrugia, Nurse/Counselor Aide; Sandy Bristow, Program Director, The Oliver Foundation; and Deborah Woehler, Executive Director, The Oliver Foundation.
Cartie and Farrugia (background) join students (from left) Grace Armiger, Amelia Adhanom, Isabella Salazar and Rilea Fruge in demonstrating a yoga pose.
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