TIS wins $10,000 fitness grant

Thompson Intermediate School coach David Foster, center left, Blue Cross representative Jeff Adams, center, and TIS Principal Dr. Ke Jones, center right, join students in celebrating a school grant on Sept. 16. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Thompson Intermediate School coach David Foster, center left, Blue Cross representative Jeff Adams, center, and TIS Principal Dr. Ke Jones, center right, join students in celebrating a school grant on Sept. 16. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

When Thompson Intermediate School physical education coach David Foster received notice the school had won a $10,000 Blue Cross Healthy School grant, he was floored.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Foster said with a smile on Sept. 16. “We will be able to do so much with this grant.”

TIS was one of a handful of schools statewide to receive the Healthy School grant, which is awarded to schools to help improve their physical fitness and nutrition education programs.

Blue Cross representative Jeff Adams, who delivered half of the grant to TIS on Sept. 16, said schools from across the state applied for the grant. The remainder of the money will be delivered to the school in January 2014, Adams said.

“When they apply for the grant, the schools tell us what they would do if they were given $10,000 to improve the health of the kids,” Adams said. “We only choose the top submittals.

“This program grants the schools assistance in the fight against childhood obesity,” Adams added. “We are proud to be able to help.”

Foster said the school will use the money to eventually purchase 20 exercise bikes, 20 small trampolines and 10 heart monitors. The grant also will fund a child nutrition education program, which will focus on teaching children and parents how to eat healthy meals and snacks.

“We will have someone from the state Department (of Education) come in and speak during our parent meeting, and we will have healthy snacks we will give out to some of the classes,” Foster said. “This new equipment will allow us to focus on cardiovascular exercises in our P.E. classes.”