Madison elementary earns Blue Cross Blue Shield grant

MADISON – Madison Elementary School has received a 2022 Be Healthy Schools Grant for $9,940 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

With this grant program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will distribute $300,000. BCBS will award grants up to $10,000 to schools across Alabama that enroll students in grades K-12.

The grants will help to implement school-based health and wellness programs that emphasize increased physical and nutritional education during the school year. The Be Healthy School Grant Program has targeted the prevention of childhood obesity as a major goal in schools throughout Alabama.

Austin Sanders, physical education teacher at Madison elementary, and Lee Shaw with the Office of Development for Madison City Schools were instrumental in securing this grant. Sanders and Shaw submitted the plan, “Setting the PACE: Physical Activity Connected with Education.”

The PACE initiative focuses on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the impact that joyful movement, exercise and nutrition can have for years in the future. The grant provided Madison elementary with water bottles for each student, along with equipment for innovative PE activities including Oculus Virtual Reality, Kan Jam and Nine Square in the Air.

Blue Cross Blue Shield representatives visited Madison elementary’s campus to present the check and an awards banner. The BCBS employees also watched students at Madison elementary in action with energetic instruction for PE.

In addition, Sanders received a $500 grant from BCBS for professional development.

Blue Shield accepts grant requests from May through July each year. Applicants School district leaders and State Rep. Parker Moore attended the presentation to show support for this community partnership.

Blue Cross must submit funding requests online.

The school staff must satisfy the following eligibility guidelines for grant consideration.

* Location – Only Alabama schools are eligible.

* Population — School body must include students in grades K-12.

* Type — School must function as a public or private school.

* Recipients – BCBS will make awards payable only to schools.

The BCBS grants are not eligible to support sports leagues or teams of individual schools, along with any activity deemed inappropriate by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

For more information about the Be Healthy School Grant Program, call Heidi Ramey at 205-220-6881 or email or the BCBS office at 205-220-7821 or email

For more information about Blue Cross Blue Shield, visit or Facebook.


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