The Houston-based Oliver Foundation has awarded a $3,000 grant to Spring Forest Middle School to add nontraditional exercise equipment ranging from medicine balls to mini-kettle balls and agility ladders as student activity options.
The $3,000 grant award was announced on Sept. 9 to Spring Forest Middle’s Ryan Harvey, who heads up the health-fitness department and coach. Presenting it was Oliver Foundation Program Director Sandy Bristow. Principal Kaye Williams and district administrators attended the grant announcement.
“The Oliver Foundation is proud to present Spring Forest Middle School with one of this year’s Healthy Choices grants to support the Get Fit project, and we have enjoyed working with Spring Branch ISD during the past 10 years,” Bristow said.
The local nonprofit foundation is dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity. It provides technical support, training, and nutrition and physical activity education materials to grant recipients.
Harvey’s grant request for the campus’ Get Fit project focuses on nontraditional physical activity options. The grant will fund 15 medicine balls and 15 slam balls, 50 jump ropes, 15 rubber mini-kettles, five agility ladders and chin-up bars, 15 resistance exercise tubes and several equipment and medicine ball racks.
“Our goal with Project Get Fit is to get the students in our care to a place where they are healthy, self-confident and determined to be successful in life wherever their path may lead them,” Coach Harvey said. Project Get Fit will include weekly nutritional lessons, too.
“Many kids today are not into traditional sports like football or volleyball. While they may not be excited about PE, equipment like kettle and medicine balls will give kids a new way to work out that is exciting and dynamic to them. This grant gives them a new opportunity that our students would not otherwise have,” the coach said.
The Oliver Foundation’s partnership with Spring Branch ISD dates back to 2005. Between 2011 and 2013, it partnered with Baylor College of Medicine on a two-year study tracking body mass indexes (BMI) for second-graders at three SBISD schools.
Other Oliver Healthy Choices grants awarded to SBISD include:
- Nottingham Elementary, 2014-15
Moving ‘N Grooving, $3,000
- Buffalo Creek Elementary, 2014-15
Girls on the Run, $3,000
- Landrum Middle School, 2015-16
Teen Advisory Board Grant, $500
- Ridgecrest Elementary, 2015-16
Marathon Kids, $3,000