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2014 Grant Recipients


School for Early Development and Achievement Mindfulness Project - Tracey Sparrow, Milwaukee WI

The purpose of our project is to address the impact of stress on the children we serve. Our children generally live in poverty and experience the stress associated with unsta- ble living conditions, food insecurity, neighborhood violence – the list goes on and on. We cannot easily impact what happens when they are not in school, but we can give them strategies to deal with the inevitable stress in life. In addition, development of executive function skills, such as focus, memory and attention, will lead to greater academic suc- cess. Current research suggests that stress has a long term impact on health, so we be- lieve addressing it at such a young age will have long term benefits. Our project is being done in collaboration with Dr. Astrida Kaugars at Marquette University, who is conduct- ing the research associated with the project.


Mineral Point Middle and High School Nutrition Education Project - Julie Pompos, Mineral Point WI

During the fall of 2014, the Mineral Point school district will be launching an after school cooking club available to Middle and High School students. The program will run for five months totaling 10 sessions. Each session will have specific lessons plans that cover topics such as: proper kitchen knife skills, sourcing and selection of food, nutritional content, label reading, costs, preparation, storage, meal planning and presentation. Students will be taking a field trip to a grocery store as well as a local farmers market. Mineral Point is blessed with a plethora of talented farmers, chefs and culinary authors. We will defi- nitely be utilizing our local resources. As the District school nurse for the past two years, I have had the opportunity to formally and informally survey students regarding their desire to learn food skills. Resoundingly they have voiced an interest. Columbus and Fall River Schools Live It! Program.


Columbus and Fall River Schools Live It! Program - Emily Dilley, Columbus WI

The Live It! program aims to motivate students to make nutrient-rich food choices while performing physical activity to enhance the wellness of middle school children, typical- ly aged 11-14 years old, within the rural community of Columbus and Fall River, Wisconsin. The curriculum consists of fourteen lessons; eleven nutrition based and three physical activity based lessons. Seven to eight classes participate each year; classes compete against one another each semester by earning points when completing in-class and take-home activities. The winning class wins a trip to the hospital for a healthy cooking class with our Executive Chef, Melissa Osterhoff.


Mt. Horeb Intermediate School Nutrition Education Project - Laura Isaacson, Mt. Horeb WI

Children in the United States do not meet USDA guidelines for a healthy diet and are re- ceiving home-cooked meals less frequently than in the past. The goal of the program is to increase the children’s exposure to and acceptance of healthy foods while teaching them food preparation techniques. Lessons vary from hand hygiene to basic cooking techniques and preparing healthy snacks. School-based nutrition lesson plans will be de- veloped and led by Registered Dieticians, and will focus efforts on children identified by their teachers as students who would most benefit from nutrition education.


Core Knowledge Charter School ThinkFirst Program - Aimee Lemrise, Verona WI

Children and teens are at high-risk for brain and spinal cord injuries, many of which are preventable. The ThinkFirst program aims to increase awareness of brain and spinal cord injuries and methods of prevention for children and teens through scheduled edu- cational seminars in public and charter schools. The program ties anatomy to injury pre- vention for greater comprehension, the ability to make safe choices, and encourage- ment of critical thinking. The program also offers direct communication with a health professional, and covers topics including the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord, as well as bicycle, pedestrian, playground, sports, and weapon safety.


Dodgeville Elementary School Water Station Project - Julie Piper, Dodgeville WI

The water station project aims to address the importance of hydration while combat- ting dehydration and steering students away from sugary drinks throughout the school day. The installation of water fountains as well as the distribution of reusable water bottles will give both students and staff a better opportunity to drink more water on a daily basis. The project hopes to see better school attendance due to improved health, increased student attention and improved grades, weight loss in staff and students who substitute water for sugary drinks, and a more environmentally conscious student body as they see how many water bottles they can save.


Lincoln Elementary School Cross-Country Ski Project - Clare Seguin, Madison WI

Introducing students to cross-country skiing as a form of exercise in the winter will be part of an overall effort of the school to integrate health and wellness activities for teachers and students, such as nutrition education, a healthy snack program, school lunch garden bar, running programs, and mindfulness training. Every class in the school will be able to participate in one-hour ski sessions, which will be volunteer-supported by the Madison Nordic Ski Club. Each class will spend at least two class sessions per winter outdoors on skis, learning basic moves, playing some learning games, and prac- ticing downhill.


John Muir Elementary School Mindfulness Project - Betsy Scholz, Madison WI

Through the implementation of both large group and subgroup mindfulness programs in addition to the use of a new Muir Mindfulness Garden, this project aims to target the behavioral needs of Muir’s 2nd grade students. The program will decrease overall be- havior referrals for 2nd grade students by 60% while supporting the use of school-wide mindfulness practices for all Muir students. The ultimate goal is that better developed social-emotional skills, increased exposure to and engagement with academics and improved school-community relationships will support positive student achievement.


Whitewater Unified School District Let’s Move Girls Program - Diana Hoffman, Whitewater WI

Regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps control weight, and reduces anxiety and stress as well as increases self-esteem. Using the BodyWorks Toolkit for Teens, the Let’s Move Girls Program aims to combat a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and low self-esteem in teenage girls who are undergoing many changes and may benefit from guidance in making healthy choices. Volunteers from UW-Whitewater serve as positive female role models while the girls engage in nutritional lesson plans and physical activities in 75-minute sessions.


Glendale Elementary School Exercise to Achievement Program - Katie Hensel, Madison WI

The Exercise to Achievement after-school program targets children of low to moderate income families and ethnic minorities to engage them in physical activity. The children will train for a triathlon or a mud run over the course of 8 weeks, with the goals of im- proving academic achievement and encouraging healthy lifestyles. The use of school staff as teachers creates built-in relationships with the students, and the fun and varied curriculum provides a tangible accomplishment at the end. This will not only combat the problem of obesity-related health problems, but take aim at the achievement gap in our schools.


Houlton Elementary School Greenhouse Project - Ellen Montgomery, Houlton WI

The Houlton Greenhouse Project is part of an ongoing garden project that seeks to en- courage the students’ gardening and healthy lifestyle enthusiasm by creating a proper greenhouse worthy of students’ commitment to gardening. The greenhouse will be used to support the Garden Club and Project, which provides multiple curricular and instruc- tional opportunities that impact not only horticultural learning, but healthy lifestyle choices that will last a lifetime. Students learn about the water cycle and conservation in the rain garden, sample the fresh produce that they themselves have planted and harvested, and learn about composting as they see the concepts they have learned about coming to fruition.





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The Healthy Classrooms Foundation | P.O. Box 5134 Madison, WI. 53705 | email