The Highmark Foundation selected Lincoln Charter School — among nine other schools from Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia — to receive a $2,500 grant for enhancing and expanding physical activity and nutrition programs to prevent childhood obesity. Each school will be honored during the foundation’s conference No Time to Weight: Best Practices in Childhood Obesity Prevention on Sept. 24 and 25 in Pittsburgh.
In a news release, Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook said the foundation wanted to recognize and support the schools that go above and beyond to fight childhood obesity. She said schools are on the front lines of the epidemic because kids spend most of their time there.
“Each of these schools demonstrated their commitment to childhood obesity prevention for the health of the children, their families and local communities,” Cook said.
The schools were selected based on specific criteria, including the percentage of overweight and obese children in the district, the news release states.
Jackson said Lincoln Charter School also was chosen because of its recent work with the Hope Street Garden & Learning Lab, a community gardening project that aims to teach students about agriculture and healthy eating.
She said the school has a popular club program, which will be supplemented and expanded with this grant. She said the money will be used to support the football, cheerleading, Zumba and Wii Fit clubs. She also plans to host an assembly to promote movement and buy shirts that say, “I’m moving at Lincoln.”
Jackson said the school focuses on educating the whole student, which includes body and mind. She said it’s important to provide students with the opportunity to put into practice what they learn about nutrition and exercise.
“We’re giving them the educational component,” she said. “We’re going to be able to support this educational piece by giving them the tools.”