Tonawanda News

November 10, 2012

Ken-Ton schools awarded grants

Staff reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Two elementary schools in the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District have been awarded $4,000 each through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Charles A. Lindbergh and Thomas Jefferson schools received the grants this year, but this is the second year district schools have taken part in the program. Kenmore Middle and Holmes Elementary school were participants last year.

“We’re excited about it,” said Heather Ratka, a curriculum learning specialist for health and physical education in the district. The district’s departments of food service, health and physical education worked together on the grant application and will oversee the program.

Fuel-Up to Play 60 is an in-school program that encourages healthy eating and 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The program was founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

“It gives schools a chance to do a school wellness investigation to see where they’re at and improve on their weaknesses by doing ‘plays,’ “ Ratka said. “For example, Edison last year created healthy recipes and partnered with Tops.”

This year, she said, “we’ll be doing taste-testing and exposing kids to healthy dairy options and partnering with local dairy famers.”

On the physical activity side of the grant, plans call for new opportunities for children to get active while at school.

“Our hope was to purchase activity carts to be used by classroom teachers to give students the opportunity for additional physical education. When kids have free time, they could use this equipment to get busy and do it in a structured way,” Ratka said. 

“With students having so much testing and assessments these days, they don’t get as much physical activity as they used to get.”

Students can also get the chance to take part in a student ambassador program for their schools.

“I am very proud of both school for having won the Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant,” Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro said in a district press release. “For the second year in a row it shows the commitment we have to stressing healthy lifestyles for our youth.”

For more information on the program, visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.