Heard Elementary and Port Wentworth Elementary have been awarded Georgia SHAPE School Grants, presented by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s SHAPE Initiative. Heard Elementary and Port Wentworth Elementary are two of 15 schools that were awarded a total of $45,000 in Georgia SHAPE school grants. Each school will receive $3,000 to be used to help develop physical activity and nutrition plans. Georgia SHAPE is a statewide multi-agency, multidimensional initiative of Governor Nathan Deal that brings together the government, philanthropic, academic and business communities to address childhood obesity in Georgia.
“Receiving this grant will enable our school’s wellness team to move forward on initiatives to help our students make healthy choices, as well as incorporate values of civic engagement,” said Dr. T. M. Wright, Port Wentworth Elementary School Principal.
She said the school intended to use the grant funds to create a community garden for he use of the students and the residents of Port Wentworth.
“We will incorporate lessons on nutrition, healthy diet, and the life cycle of plants while engaging members of our community as garden partners,” Wright said.
“We welcome anyone in the Savannah area who would like to be part of this endeavor to contact the school and lend their support.”
Research has shown that children are much more physically active if they attend schools that schedule, promote and supervise opportunities such as structured recess, short classroom-based activity breaks, and beforeand after-school activities. Georgia currently ranks tenth in the nation for overweight and obese children.
“These grants will go a long way toward improving childhood fitness and nutrition,” said
Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
“We must teach our children the importance of physical activity and the lifelong benefits of healthy eating, lessons they hopefully will carry with them throughout their lives.”