Grant boosts sports at Conway
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Boys and girls at Conway Elementary School in the Freedom Area School District have been playing intramural basketball after school this fall, thanks to a $1,000 grant from Jamba Juice and the National PTA.
Only 45 schools in the U.S. have received grants to support "healthy lifestyle programs," according to Jamba Juice, a national chain of smoothie bars.
Conway Elementary and a school in Harrisburg were the only Pennsylvania grant recipients.
Members of the Conway PTA Inc. learned of the grants last summer through committee member Brad Gilmore, whose wife, Stephanie, wrote the grant application.
Mrs. Gilmore, PTA treasurer, included in the application information that the school for grades K-4 already is involved in a "Power Up" program that teaches students about "healthy eating behaviors."
About half of Conway's 211 students signed up for the intramural basketball program, Mrs. Gilmore said. Denny Falk, a dad and PTA member, has been supervising the program.
The intramural basketball season will end soon. More sports are expected to start in late January or early February.
The PTA had expected to offer baseball in the winter and soccer in the spring. But due to the popularity of basketball, that sport may be offered again, she said.
The Power Up program at Conway began at the beginning of the school year thanks to a grant from Adagio Health, said Conway Principal Debbie Baycura.
Staff from Adagio "come in once a month and give a 20-minute lesson in nutrition to each of our classes," Ms. Baycura said. "They also give us a short Power Up message every day" which is read during announcements.
Two days before Thanksgiving the message encouraged students to begin their holiday meal "with a veggie packed salad."
The "science-based" daily messages seem to be well-received by students, Ms. Baycura said. "I've heard students talking about them."
Lunch-time salad consumption seems to be on the upswing, and participation in the breakfast program has increased.
First Published December 3, 2009 5:34 am