POES receives Be Healthy Schools Award

PELHAM – Representatives from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama paid a visit to Pelham Oaks Elementary School to present physical education teacher Ginger Aaron-Brush with the Be Healthy School Award and a check donation of $10,000 on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 31.

According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield Community Relations Manager Jeff Adams, POES is one of 26 schools that were selected for the award out of a pool of over 100 applicants.

“In order to prevent childhood obesity we ask schools to fill out an application and tell us what they would do with the money,” Adams said. “In a lot of schools, they will use the money for equipment, like a climbing wall, or software about nutrition.”

Adams said the Be Healthy Schools Award Program is based off three values: exercise, nutrition and community involvement. Adams said POES was selected because of their commitment to those values and the specific plans they had made to implement them.

“Their application was detailed and specific with what they were planning to do,” Adams said.

Brush said the donation money will allow students to participate in health-related programs and activities outside of their physical education classes.

“It’s really a great opportunity for students,” Brush said. “Some of the money will go to our school garden. Some of our students will also be able to participate in our ‘Ride and Read’ program, where kids get to have a desk-bicycle. Now that we’ve got the money, we’ll start that up as soon as we can.”

According to Brush, the money also helped the school support the “Drumming for Fitness Program,” which involved the use of bouncy balls, dancing and drumming, that the school had already been using.

“Through research, they realized that musicians’ heart rates are the same as professional athletes,” Brush said.

Overall, Brush said the Be Healthy Schools Award will enhance the education of POES students.

“There are so many aspects of the program that every student will be affected in some way,” Brush said. “We have great kids, great faculty and great administrators. We’re very lucky to be a part of the Be Healthy program.”