Farmington Public Schools (FPS) is using its first, districtwide Building Healthy Communities grant to support programs that help students make better health choices.
Launched in 2009 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Building Healthy Communities program has impacted 900 schools and 395,000 students.
Kenbrook Elementary Principal Julie Kaminski and the Center for Health and Community Impact at Wayne State University will facilitate at the elementary level. The middle school program is led by Power Middle School Principal Allison Robinson, in conjunction with Project Healthy Schools at the University of Michigan.
Both those schools received grants last year. At Kenbrook, funds provided outdoor recess materials, apples for the entire school, a coach who taught games to noon aides, half-day activities, assemblies, and a Healthy Kids Club. At Power, the grant provided an apple tasting, bookmarks, several lessons in 7th grade Health, and a 12 Day Fitness Challenge.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning, parents and families this year have access to the Building Healthy Communities website. It includes information about physical activities and nutrition, and a Healthy Living calendar.
At Kenbrook, teachers have incorporated lessons from a password-protected website, and some have completed live lessons with students. At Power, a new water bottle filling station and water bottles await students once they return. All FPS elementary schools received new recess equipment.
“The Building Healthy Communities grant has provided Kenbrook’s students and families with wonderful resources and learning,” Kaminski said in a press release. “We have all learned more about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.”
For more information on the Building Healthy Communities elementary school program, visit bhcwsu.org. For more information about the middle school program, visit projecthealthyschools.org/involved/start.html.