10 Iowa schools awarded $500 mini grants
If you had $500 to use on a 5-2-1-0 project, how would you spend it?
Schools that attended the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit in October 2018 were given the opportunity to apply for a $500 mini grant from the Iowa Department of Education to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for their students.
Ten schools were awarded the mini grant — here's how they spent their funds:
Ballard High School
The Ballard High school wellness committee had been working to encourage water consumption among students, including raising funds to purchase a water bottle refilling station. Ballard used the funds to purchase two infused water dispensers and wellness committee members will be responsible for changing the flavors daily.
Van Allen Elementary (Chariton)
The food service director at Chariton Community Schools organized a taste testing event with students at the district's Van Allen Elementary to encourage healthy eating habits. Students taste-tested two "blenderless" smoothie recipes and got to vote on which one they liked best. Students were given the recipes to take home.
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Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary
Gilmore City-Bradgate used their funds to start the construction of a natural playground. They purchased two spider web tree swings, a tree swing hanging kit, a nylon rope to create a tight rope path, and lumber and paint for a bench. The elementary school is also making changes to incorporate 5-2-1-0 into the school wellness policy.
Madrid High School
Madrid High School used the mini grant to purchase an in-classroom greenhouse, UV grow lights, gardening supplies, and a 10-gallon insulated beverage dispenser. With these supplies, students will grow herbs and create infused water. This project was incorporated into the Environmental Science and Foods and Nutrition curriculums.
Marshalltown High School
The grant assisted Marshalltown High School to create and promote their Cats Corner Fitness Center where students and staff can be active before and after school during certain days during the week. A letter explaining 5-2-1-0 was distributed to families in both English and Spanish. The high school is planning an Open House including healthy snacks soon.
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Newell-Fonda High School
Newell-Fonda students are helping to encourage healthy eating choices in the community with the Helpful Hands Planting Project. Plant Tech class students constructed plant boxes to house seedlings they planted earlier this spring. The boxes will then be installed at the local food pantry garden and the community garden.
North Fayette Valley
North Fayette Valley Community Schools used the funds to purchase activity dice, balls and instructional materials for classrooms Pre-K through 5th grade, physical education, and select middle school and high school classes. These dice will give teachers more options to help provide students opportunities to get physical activity each day.
GET INVOLVED: Sign-up your school to become a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site
Riceville Elementary School
In order to encourage active lifestyles and healthy eating habits, Riceville Elementary school purchased activity dice and conducted taste tests of fruits and vegetables. The activity dice feature multiple different physical exercises and can be used in the classroom.
St. Cecilia School
St. Cecilia, a Pre-K through 5th grade school in Ames, plans to build a garden with their funds to encourage healthy eating habits. The school has purchased materials and soil and received donations for seeds. Depending on what fruits and vegetables they are able to grow, St. Cecilia hopes to conduct taste testing with their harvest in the fall.
Weeks Middle School
Weeks Middle School, part of the Des Moines Public School District, used the mini grant funds to purchase food recovery bags. These will be used to save food for students before, after or during school. Many of the school's students lack access to nutritious food at home, creating learning obstacles while they are at school.