MOOERS - For the second year in a row, Mooers Elementary has received a mini-grant from the "Eat Well, Play Hard Program" through the Clinton County Health Department - all to help the physical and nutritional education of its students.
Last year, the school received nearly $1,600, which was used to purchase a commercial-sized popcorn machine.
"We had to make a change in the school as far as nutritional," explained school nurse Connie Poupore, who applied for the grant.
The popcorn machine has been used as a healthy snack alternative during parties and to reward students.
"When they have the Fall Festival here at school, we substituted our usual doughnuts and cider. We did popcorn and cider," Poupore explained. "The students absolutely loved it."
This year, the $1,600 mini-grant will be used for physical education.
"It is our goal at Mooers Elementary to increase daily physical activity for elementary students, by providing them with new and exciting exercise routines," stated the grant proposal. "Students will be exposed to activities that improve their cardio respiratory fitness and muscular strength and endurance through the use of step platforms, resistance bands, and hand-held fitness balls."
Poupore said she has been working closely with physical education teacher Patti Oliver-Moseley, who will be incorporating the equipment into gym class, even basing an entire unit on it.
"I think it's wonderful," said Poupore. "I think it just shows the kids different activities they can do to increase their activity; that's fun."
She added she hopes the students will take what they learn in school and apply it at home.
"They don't have to have these step platforms," Poupore explained. "They can have pieces of wood. They can do it on cinder blocks. It's something that just shows them a different activity that they probably weren't exposed to before."
As long as the grants are still available from the Clinton County Health Department, Poupore plans to apply for them to help the students at Mooers Elementary.
"I'm very grateful that the Clinton County Health Department offers this to different schools and organizations in the community," she said. "It's a lot of work for them to do this and I truly appreciate having the opportunity to do this and certainly getting accepted for the grants."