CVES receives $10,000 grant for physical education lab

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Creek View Elementary School’s students and teachers soon will have more ways to stay fit, as the school recently received a $10,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Jeff Adams, right, presents a grant to Creek View Elementary Principal Charissa Cole, left, and teacher Abbey Tipton, center. (Contributed)

Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Jeff Adams, right, presents a grant to Creek View Elementary Principal Charissa Cole, left, and teacher Abbey Tipton, center. (Contributed)

Blue Cross Blue Shield presented the grant to the school on Aug. 17, which came about three months after the company notified CVES and Pelham’s Valley Elementary School they were among the 28 schools from across the state to receive the grants.

“We are really excited about it,” CVES Principal Charissa Cole said during an Aug. 19 phone interview. “Abbey Tipton, a third-grade classroom teacher, wrote the grant. She saw the opportunity and went for it.”

The schools will use the grants to fund and implement school-based health and wellness programs “emphasizing increased exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement during the school year,” according to Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Cole said CVES currently has a physical education lab in a classroom next to the school’s gym, and said the grant money primarily will be used to improve the lab’s equipment.

The lab is used to offer recreational activities for students during recess when weather does not allow them to play on the school’s playground or outdoor exercise areas. The lab is also open to the school’s teachers to use during breaks or after school, Cole said.

“We have some equipment like a treadmill and exercise balls in there now, but we are very limited,” Cole said. “We are looking to upgrade that room with those funds.”

Through the grant, CVES will receive $5,000 each semester. The CVES wellness committee currently is reviewing which equipment it will purchase with the grant.

Cole said the school is looking to promote exercise and healthy eating habits through its leadership program, which is modeled after the book “The Seven Habits of Healthy Kids” by Sean Covey.

The school’s morning newscast each Wednesday comes with a “Wellness Wednesday” theme, and promotes healthy lifestyles among the CVES students.

Each year, CVES and other Alabaster schools also encourage students and faculty members to participate in the Mercedes Marathon in downtown Birmingham.

“We are looking to set goals for student wellness, and hopefully increase participation in the Mercedes Marathon,” Cole said. “We’ve got the grant, so now we really want to knock that project out.”