Fort Worth: 4 Blue Zones Project Schools Win Wellness Innovation Grants
Fort Worth school teams recently competed for grant funding for student-led, campus-based health and well-being initiatives inspired by Blue Zones Project.
Four Fort Worth ISD schools earned the $5,000 Wellness Innovation grant: Daggett Montessori, Applied Learning Academy, Leadership Academy at Como and Westcliff Elementary.
Students from finalist schools strutted their creativity “Shark Tank-style” before a selection committee of local educators and wellness experts—and an enthusiastic fan base—to earn top honors. From dance videos and newscasts, to yoga poses and skits, each team made its case for the grant funding, provided by R4 Foundation, which funds local programs supporting education, community, wellness and the arts.
Student Council members of the Leadership Academy at Como proposed to use grant funds for:
- Empowering students and the community to improve overall healthy lifestyle skills
- Programs including trampoline fitness, drumfit, yoga, and line dancing through use of computers, trainers, and the gym
- Helping track fitness activities through the use of pedometers
- Supporting monthly food demos and fitness evenings
- Adding yoga and meditation during and after the school day to promote mindfulness
Como Leadership Academy created a video as part of their presentation.
Student Council members of Daggett Montessori proposed to use grant funds for:
- Positive messages on the school’s walls
- A painted hopscotch court
- A natural playground scene with space to run and play outdoors with elements of nature that can be moved and manipulated
Applied Learning Academy’s Blue Zones Wellness Ambassador Advisory team, a daily class of 23 seventh- and eighth-graders, proposed to:
- Empower students to take ownership of their health and eating habits
- Purchase portable cooking carts to make teaching healthier eating habits and cooking skills more fun.
- Have 35 students who hold food handler’s licenses leading cooking sessions for their peers and family members a few times a year
- Support the purchase of equipment to film and post cooking videos of healthy recipes, using vegetables harvested from the school garden.
- Host a Family Wellness Day or Evening at Camp Carter to give families an opportunity to get outdoors and move naturally through a variety of options led by students.
The Student Council from Westcliff Elementary proposed to:
Create an annual, ongoing series of four healthy living themed events every year. Coordinated by student leaders, the events will bring Westcliff Elementary families together to learn together and engage in deeply meaningful activities to develop students in four areas: expression through the arts, exercise and fitness, nutrition and health, sports and the outdoors. The goal for the project is to foster relationships among area families and educate school staff and families on healthy eating, activities, and resources available to them in the community.
Runner-up schools each earned $2,000 in funding to support their projects. The Wellness Grant and competition was held in partnership with North Texas Healthy Communities, the community outreach arm of Texas Health Resources that implements Blue Zones Project in Fort Worth.