Seventh annual “Health Kids Grants” Cycle supports nine schools in Northern Virginia

GF sneakersThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awarded $17,700 in Healthy Kids Grants to address the main causes of childhood obesity by supporting programs that increase physical activity and/or improve nutrition in Northern Virginia public schools.  The 2017-2018 school year is the seventh annual Healthy Kids grants cycle, with a total of $118,000 awarded to date.  

Healthy Kids Grants are made possible by grants from the Chin Family Charitable Fund and the J.O.Y. Charitable Fund, donor advised funds with the Community Foundation.

“We at Saratoga Elementary are so excited to receive this grant. The funds will help us launch a before school walking club. This club will give students a chance to participate in physical activity before the school day even starts. Promoting wellness is an important goal that this grant will help us achieve!” said Julie Whyte, Physical Education Teacher at Saratoga Elementary School.

“Pedaling for Progress in a Kinesthetic Classroom will allow us to purchase desk cycles that will allow students to increase movement during instruction.  We are so excited to be able to provide this movement opportunity to our students with disabilities.  It’s an unobtrusive way to increase movement, which research shows increases attention to task. The LRES community is so excited to introduce this innovative method of learning to our students,” said Tonya F. Wassenberg, Principal of Laurel Ridge Elementary School.

“Childhood obesity continues to be a critical issue facing children and families throughout our region,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  “We are delighted to again partner with the Chin Family Charitable Fund and J.O.Y. Charitable Fund to continue to help our local schools address this issue,” Ellsworth added. 

The 2017-2018 Healthy Kids Grants were awarded to the following programs:

Annandale Terrace Elementary School – Teaching Students to Become Physically Active and Healthy Eaters for a Lifetime – $2000
Fairfax County
This project will encourage students to make better nutrition choices and to be more physically activity among our 3rd through 5th grade students and will be implemented through an afterschool sports program. Funding will help to purchase equipment, curriculum and healthy snacks for the program.

Falls Church High School – Swing Kids – $2,000
Fairfax County
In pursuit of promoting a healthier lifestyle, we’d like to put HOVR at library tables for students and teachers in continued support of increasing movement in the school day. There’s a strong correlation between movement and improved cognition. We want to stimulate this connection.

Gunston Elementary School – Let Me Run – $2,000
Fairfax County
Let Me Run will inspire 20 low-income boys, in grades 4-5th, to build confidence, respect for others, and comfort expressing emotions. Running, fun activities, and coaching help the boys set/adjust personal goals and connect success with doing their best. The seven-week season ends with a 5k race.

Kerrydale Elementary School – Kerrydale Girls on the Run – $2,000
Prince William County
This after school running club will encourage physical activity among participating 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls while teaching valuable lessons including conflict management, goal setting and attainment, community service, comradery, and self-confidence building.

Laurel Ridge Elementary School – Pedaling for Progress in a Kinesthetic Classroom – $2000
Fairfax County
This project will improve the learning environment for students in critical areas of our school.  .Our project is going to focus on producing better academic performance and creating improved learning environments with the use of physical activity. 

Loudoun County Public Schools Head Start – It’s Water Time! – $2,000
Loudoun County
This project will encourage better nutrition and a healthy lifestyle in our preschool age students by teaching them the importance of drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing the amount of water they drink during the day.

Marshall Road Elementary School – Yoga for Students with Special Needs – $2,000
Fairfax County
This project is to bring Yoga and Mindfulness to special education students at Marshall Road Elementary School.   Yoga and mindfulness can help to improve students' academic performance as well as flexibility and overall physical fitness.  

Saratoga Elementary School – Stallions Energized for Excellence – $1,700
Fairfax County
This project will increase physical activity among 200-300 2nd through 5th grade students by offering a before school walking/jogging club. The club will provide physical activity and stimulate mental alertness, preparing students for a day of learning throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

Westfield High School – Girls' Only Fitness Class at Westfield High School – $2,000
Fairfax County
This class was formed to educate the female students at WHS, who are non-athletes, not in PE class, on what is a healthy diet, what activities they can do to get their 60 minutes/day in so they can stay healthy and fit. This class will change the way the girls think, feel, and view themselves.

Grantees were approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors after having been selected by a volunteer committee including Jesse Ellis, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services; Joan Kasprowicz, Community Leader and past Community Foundation Board member; Amy Kay, Community Leader and Business Women’s Giving Circle member, Susan Nolan, Community Foundation Board Member; and Rhonda Richardson, Health Coach, INTotal Health.

For more information about the Healthy Kids Grants program, please contact Sari Raskin