North Callaway pursues healthy community grant

The North Callaway R-I School District has applied for a grant for a program officials hope will result in a more fit student body.

Assistant Superintendent Sandy Haskins received approval from the school board during Thursday night’s meeting to pursue a $75,000 Healthy and Active Communities Grant through the Missouri Foundation for Health to establish a new physical education and health curriculum in the North Callaway schools.

“The goal (of the Health Department grant program) is to build policies to promote wellness,” Haskins said during her presentation to the board. “We have a board wellness policy, but we don’t do much with it and there are no real teeth to it.”

She said she was prompted to apply for the grant because with the district’s efforts to meet the academic requirements of No Child Left Behind in recent years, its schools have placed more of an emphasis on developing students’ reading and math skills while “our physical education has gotten down to a bare minimum.”

Haskins said she and district physical education and health educators have found a new curriculum called Spark that would have students “doing more movement and give them skills to keep them healthy throughout their lives.”

“Our intent is to put more physical education classes in (at the high school) and to put physical education back in every day K-8,” Haskins said.

She described watching a class from the Spark curriculum as like watching Minute to Win It, with students in constant motion as they move through a series of stations.

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