Bell Academy Celebrates FUTP 60 Grant

Grant used to purchase smoothie blenders and physical education equipment

March 21, 2016

BOYLE, Miss. – Bell Academy School for Math, Science and Health Education was recently able to purchase a new commercial dairy smoothie blender and physical education (PE) equipment upgrades thanks to a $4,000.00 grant from Fuel Up to Play 60. The Cleveland School District, local 4-H officials, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) celebrated the accomplishment at Bell Academy on March 21 with a student assembly and check presentation ceremony.

Bell Academy Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor and PE Director Joyce Aycock, along with Cleveland School District Child Nutrition Director Krista Davis, submitted the grant application for Bell Academy. During the ceremony, Fuel Up to Play 60 and SUDIA staff presented Bell Academy Principal Sonya Swafford with a large novelty check and teachers greeted students dressed up as healthy dairy foods, fruits and vegetables.

According to Swafford, the primary purpose of the funds were to establish a ‘Grab N’ Go’ breakfast program and encourage healthy eating by offering dairy smoothies at hallway kiosks and car and bus drop off points. The smoothies contain protein and a full serving each of fruit and dairy.

“For kids to do their best in school, it is important that they begin the day with a healthy breakfast,” said Swafford. “Some kids can’t get that at home due to financial or time restraints, so we used the grant funds to purchase a large immersion blender, capable of making healthy smoothies on a large scale. The smoothies are fun and healthy and with our expanded breakfast offerings, we can make sure that our students aren’t going from class to class hungry and unable to concentrate.”

Grant funds were also used to purchase classroom activity packs, exercise CDs and DVDs, yoga mats and yoga blocks for PE classes, Swafford said.

During the assembly, students were quizzed on their knowledge of dairy, food groups and healthy eating and participated in group activities designed to encourage 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

SUDIA Manager of School Health and Wellness Nancy Roman said the grant ceremony will help students remember the importance of eating breakfast.

“It is proven that students who eat breakfast everyday do better in school and have fewer discipline problems,” said Roman. “Bell Academy is setting a good example of what other schools can do to give their students the tools and fuel they need to succeed.”

Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program, is a partnership of the National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), which encourages students to consume nutrient-rich foods, such as fruit, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For more information, contact SUDIA Integrated Communications Program Manager Joel Hall at jhall@sedairy.org or (470) 226-3005.