SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Indian Valley Elementary School received a grant totaling $7,190 in the Be Healthy School grant program. The grant was presented on Thursday, Sept. 14 by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

According to the BCBS website, the grant is for the implementation of school-based health and wellness programs that emphasize increased exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement during the school year. Indian Valley welcomed special guests Alabama Senator Jim McClendon, Representative Ron Johnson, Sylacauga Mayor Jim Heigl, and Nancy Dickson and Pam Roberts from Get Healthy Talladega County to the ceremony.

Principal Monte Abner and Assistant Principal Selena Felkins accepted the grant funds on behalf of their students. Abner stated, “There is a great need for our students to lead healthy lives. We want to be preventive, and not have to have intervention later.” He remarked that Indian Valley already has great wellness practices taking place, but saw this grant as an opportunity to bring about meaningful change to the school.

A portion of the grant award will also be used to construct an irrigation system for the new school garden.

“We want our children to understand the importance of growing their own food and using that food to prepare their meals. When children are healthy, they learn better. We want their health to sustain them emotionally, academically, and behaviorally.”

Nancy Dickson added, “We know that there is a high incidence of chronic disease in Talladega County. If we can instill in our children to make healthy choices, it will help them be a better student, be a better athlete, be a better citizen, and be a healthier adult.”

Abner added, “We want to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield and SAFE for teaming up with us in this effort. It is going to take a team to eradicate the mindset of unhealthy choices and this is a great place to begin, right here at Indian Valley.”

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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