Two Schools Awarded Be Healthy Grants


ATHENS, Alabama, October 2, 2018 --- Two Athens City Schools have been awarded $20,000 in grant funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama Be Healthy Grant Program.


HEART Academy at Julian Newman and Athens Intermediate School (AIS) are among 27 schools statewide that will receive the Be Healthy school grant to combat childhood obesity. Yesterday, each school received $10,000 to implement school-based health and wellness programs that emphasize increased exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement.

Excited Students

HEART Academy at Julian Newman (JNES) will use their grant funds to purchase a Traverse Climbing Wall that will be used by students in kindergarten through third grade. Climbing activities will be integrated into individual and team sessions during P.E. classes. Classroom and will have scheduled opportunities to use the wall for brain breaks, club meetings, rewards and to enhance their curriculum. The wall will have a magnetic, write on surface that will provide an interactive component that will complement lessons and activities in all subject areas. It will also be available for after-school classes and summer camps to keep kids moving while having an awesome time.


“We are beyond ecstatic to be chosen as a Be Healthy grant recipient. This will assist us in seeking new and innovative ways to capture the interest of our students and community,” said JNES Principal Sharla Birdsong. “As a health and medical academy, our goal is to teach our students the importance of developing lifelong healthy habits that focus on fitness and nutrition. The climbing wall fits perfectly into our overall plan for success with regard to health and wellness for our students.”


AIS grant

AIS plans to use their grant funding for additional playground equipment and the completion of their walking track.


“It will provide more choices for our students when playing outside on our new playground,and the track invites parents to exercise and learn with their child,” said AIS Principal Mitzi Dennis.“When the news of receiving the BCBS grant was announced, the P.E. department and students erupted in cheers! The BCBS grant is keeping our dream alive.”


The Be Healthy Grant Program is administered by BCBS of Alabama. The program will provide over $260,000 to benefit more than 11,0000 student during the 2018-2019 school year.