Central Elementary gets $10,000 for PE equipment
Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015
When Central Elementary students return to school after their summer break, some new physical education equipment will be waiting on them thanks to a grant the school recently received.
Central Elementary was one of 20 schools in the state to receive the Shape the State Grant from BlueCross BlueSheild of Tennessee.
“We get $10,000 worth of equipment to go with the SPARK curriculum,” Central Elementary physical education teacher Michael Lunsford. The school will also receive $1,000 to help pay for the curriculum and training for teachers.
The SPARK program meets state standards and curriculums for physical education and wellness classes while incorporating elements from other areas of study, Lunsford said.
“The curriculum itself has a lot of health and wellness built in, as well as a lot of cross curriculum things such as English and math,” he said. “It’s got all of the other subjects you can use with physical education.”
The days of simply playing games during physical education class are over and the focus has shifted to helping students learn while they play.
“We will be able to use the program to help the students learn how to be healthier,” Lunsford said. “There are a lot things we can use this for besides exercise. The exercise is important, but we can use this to help teach the other subjects as well.”
As part of the grant, the school will receive the SPARK curriculum, lesson plans showing how to integrate the other subjects into physical education and $10,000 worth of equipment to go with the program.
“It will be stuff we will be able to use for a long time,” Lunsford said, adding it will include both indoor and outdoor equipment for the program.
According to the company’s website, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee launched Shape the State as part of its community outreach in 2011 to provide grants to local schools to help promote health and wellness through physical education.