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Jefferson West teacher lands ‘healthy habits’ grant for class

Leslie Abbott, family and consumer science instructor at Jefferson West MiddleSchool, USD 340, is a recipient of a $997.65 Healthy Habits for Life grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation.

Abbott received one of the 112 grants distributed during the 2010-2011 giving cycle; the grant dollars, totaling $108,066.90, are used by the recipients to develop programs to help school-aged children reduce their cardiovascular risk, increase their physical activity or learn healthy eating habits.

“Collectively, these grantees illustrate the tremendous commitment that our Kansas school nurses, teachers and administrators have to help our children develop today the healthy habits that will follow them for a lifetime,” said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKSFoundation. “School personnel are at fitnessthe forefront of finding solutions to lower the incidence of childhood obesity in Kansas, and the foundation is pleased to provide staffers like Leslie funding to help those efforts.”

The BCBSKS Foundation has now distributed 283 Healthy Habits for Life grants in excess of $270,000 through five giving cycles. Each year, HealthyHabits for Life grants result in educational or activity programs that touch the lives of thousands of Kansas children, Wegener said.

The renewal of the grant program was announced July 2010 in Wichita during the 21st annual statewide conference of the Kansas School Nurse Organization. The amount of each grant was based on the applicant’s request for the program he or she proposed, up to a maximum of $1,000.

Abbott co-wrote the grant with the input of Emalee McClurg and Alex Thornburgh, both ninth-grade students who attend Jefferson West High School and are members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter.

Emalee and Alex assisted in selecting items for the grant to be used. These included Walk Fit Pedometers, Wristband Heart Monitors and a Body Fat Analyzer.

They then organized a family wellness night at the high school Feb. 7. They also contacted DARE officer, Dana Boyer who presented materials to the public about making healthy choices. A guest presenter from Sports Performance worked with patrons on healthy exercises.

FCCLA parents passed out healthy snacks to those in attendance. The equipment purchased will also be used this quarter in the middle school Building Life Skills classes as the students study nutrition and wellness.

“We are glad to have had this opportunity to be a grant receipent this year. These grants make it possible to extend the learning opportunities that we can give our students at a time when school finances are being hit hard,” said Abbott.

Abbott is also the adviser for the middle and high school FCCLA chapters.

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Posted by on Apr 9 2011. Filed under Featured, Jefferson County North School District, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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