Columbia receives funds from Blue Cross Blue Shield as ‘healthy school’

MADISON – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama or BCBS has awarded funds from its Alabama Be Healthy School Grant Program to Columbia Elementary School.

BCBS awarded $9,000 to Columbia for initiatives to keep children healthy. The school will use the money for a rock wall and new playground equipment.

“I want to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama for again supporting our schools in its Be Healthy School Grant Program. Judging by all their hoops and cheers at the BCBS presentation in the gym, the additions will be a hit with the kids,” Dr. Ed Nichols, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, said.

“We applied for the grant in late spring and were awarded in early fall,” Columbia Principal Jamie Hill said. “Kelly Fields, our PE Coach, developed a program, ‘ROCK on,’ in which we will teach the importance of incorporating exercise and healthy eating habits into our everyday life.”

“For the exercise piece, Mr. Fields wanted to teach that you can exercise anywhere and teach how even climbing is great exercise. Simple things to get your body moving are great. That’s why we decided on a rock wall, hence the program name, ‘ROCK on,” Hill said.

Strategizing to capture the grant, Columbia’s staff set up a program “that would incorporate activities for ALL children,” Hill said. “Regardless of their capabilities or what they may or may not have access too, students could learn some basic foundation skills that could teach them the importance of exercise.”

Fields was the primary catalyst for securing the grant. He did receive assistance from the MCS Development Office.

Columbia’s Rock Wall will be placed inside the gym. Hill hopes that playground equipment will be installed by early 2022.

The Rock Wall and playground equipment will give “a new way of exercise for these students. They can build self-confidence as they see their skills and abilities increase, as well as learn you can be creative and exercise anywhere,” Hill said.

“Madison City Schools is thankful for community partners, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, who play a vital role in the success of our schools,” Hill said. “We are thankful that we have people and companies in our area that walk alongside of us to ensure we empower all children for success in all areas of their life.”

During last school year, Horizon received this BCBS grant.

For more information about The Be Healthy School Grant Program, call 205-220-7821 or email CommunityRelations@bcbsal.org.

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