Watkins receives $1M student fitness grant
WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen Central School District announced, Monday, Sept. 30, it was awarded a $1,083,993 Carol White Physical Education Program Grant over the next three years to improve the overall health and physical education of students.
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program, through the U.S. Department of Education, provides grants to schools and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and cover personnel and contractual costs. Superintendent Tom Phillips said implementation of the program will begin immediately. According to the Watkins school district, the funds will be used in three ways:
• Increase student’s physical activity and fitness through after school and summer activities, as well as focusing on sport opportunities such as kayaking, cross country skiing, and water sports in physical education class. In addition, students will develop individual wellness plans.
• Collaborate with agencies to develop a community-wide approach to health and wellness. The district plans to partner with Catholic Charities to develop community gardens, with the village of Watkins Glen to renew the summer recreation program, and with Schuyler County Mental Health to provide proactive treatment.
• Increase understanding of the importance of physical activity and nutrition for overall health. Physical education and health classes will focus on healthy eating habits and nutrition, as well as positive behaviors and decision-making skills. The district also will evaluate food choices in its school lunch program, as well as in vending machines and at school events.