Creek View receives grant for track resurfacing, nutrition initiatives

ALABASTER – Creek View Elementary School has been announced as a recipient of a $10,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama that will be used for health and wellness programs.

CVES Principal Charissa Cole said the grant will focus on exercise, nutrition and parental involvement initiatives.

“I’m excited that our students and the community have this opportunity,” Cole said. “With the track and sensory path, we will be able to address their physical and cognitive needs.”

Cole said a team of teachers (Cori McBride, Rene Lucas, Maggie Galamore and Allison Boozer) helped write the grant application.

The first part of the school’s plan for the funds is to resurface the outdoor walking track, at an estimated cost of $8,000.

The track represents a safe area to exercise before, during and after school, as well as on the weekends.

Physical education teachers will use the track at least twice a week, according to the grant application, and classroom teachers will be encouraged to utilize the track also for recess and “brain breaks.”

On Wellness Wednesday, track usage will be encouraged school-wide.

“We would also like to add an outdoor sensory path to our track area,” the application stated. “Sensory paths provide breaks for students. The sensory path would give students a chance to spend a few minutes of their day walking, jumping, bouncing and working their extra energy out in a fun way. Experts report that sensory paths can also assist students with developing motor skills and aid in acquiring balance, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, and the sensory paths would also greatly benefit our students with special needs.”

The sensory path would cost about $1,500, according to the grant, and the remaining $500 of the grant will be used to promote and encourage healthy eating and improved nutrition.

Students will be taught nutrition education through bi-weekly mock news segments called “Nutrition Nuggets,” and monthly taste tests will be implemented in the cafeteria, in which students will be able to try, new healthy items and vote on which they like best.

The money will mostly go toward purchasing visual aids highlighting nutritional topics to display in the lunchroom.

Creek View’s Child Nutrition Program Manager Joyce Jackson helped write that part of the grant application, Cole said.

“She loves for students to give feedback and input on the menu,” Cole said.

Another goal of the effort is parent involvement.

“Parents will be invited to participate in the physical education program twice a year during ‘Bring Your Parent to PE Day,’” the application states. “The coaches will provide engaging activities for parents and students to participate in together. They will also encourage parents to utilize the walking track and sensory path after school and on the weekends with their students.”

Cole said Creek View previously received a Be Healthy grant for the 2014-15 school year that was used to update the PE lab with treadmills and ellipticals.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Be Healthy School Grant Program will award $266,500 in grants to 27 schools in the state, benefitting 10,967 students in kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2020-21 school year.