Two RSU 20 schools receive grants to promote healthy living

Jan 15, 2013
Jan Austin, principal at Stockton Springs Elementary School, left, and Linda Hartkopf, RSU 20 5210 School Health Coordinator, talk with students about the 5-2-1-0 grant they were awarded.

Two Regional School Unit 20 elementary schools, Stockton Springs and the Edna Drinkwater School in Northport, have received 5-2-1-0 grants. The grants are designed to help schools meet the 5210 Strategies for Success, including providing non-food rewards, increasing opportunities for physical activity, limiting recreational screen time, and engaging community partners to help support and promote healthy eating and active living.

Stockton Springs Elementary School was given $995.45. The funds will be used for new equipment and associated games to replace sedentary indoor recess activities, including watching movies, and will be used as non-food rewards. Among the equipment to be purchased are sleds, scooters, hoppity-hop jump balls, playground balls, hula hoops, and a golf starter easy pack.

Principal Jan Austin said the grant application was geared around what Stockton Springs Elementary School would really like to have, and the answer was to get items to increase physical activity and to work with other groups in the area.

The school will partner with the Searsport Golf Course to introduce students to the lifelong activity of golf.

Waldo County General Hospital donated pedometers that students and staff can use to track their physical activity during a walking program. “Let’s walk during recess,” said Austin. “We can walk 1,000 steps to start.” Then she suggested that the students create a map of the United States and plot how far they walk each day.

The grant also calls for the introduction of a winter carnival to the community, and the students enjoyed brainstorming about the activities they would like to see at a winter carnival.

Northport received a grant of $994.87. Those funds will be used to purchase snow castle kits, a variety of balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, plastic discs and racks for jump ropes and hula hoops.

The plan is to increase student and staff physical activity by using the new outdoor equipment in a Drinkwater Elementary Recess Challenge Project. The project is designed to keep students and staff moving during outdoor recess time. There is also an incentive component to the project to earn extra outdoor recess time through a point-based system. Students can earn points for trying a new activity, participating in a group activity, engaging in a physical activity at school, for positive behavior in school or for meeting learning targets.

Students and staff will track progress with an online check-in form and will work collaboratively to move through the activity levels. A bulletin board in the gym will be used to show how they are progressing along the challenge.

Last year, grants were received by six schools in RSU 20: Ames, Weymouth, East Belfast, Frankfort, Nickerson and Searsport Elementary.

The 5-2-1-0 program stands for five servings of fruits and vegetables per day; no more than two hours of recreational screen time per day; at least one hour of physical activity a day; and zero sugary drinks.

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