Conway Regional Women’s Council presents school wellness grants

Story and photos

by Sonja J. Keith

The Conway Regional Women’s Council has awarded 11 grants totaling about $6,800 to area schoolteachers to support child wellness and fitness initiatives.

“I am very proud to see the impact the Conway Regional Women’s Council is making on the health of our children through our Teacher’s Grant program,” said Dot Welch, associate director of the Conway Regional Health Foundation. “The leadership and dedication shown by this group of women is awesome. They truly care about our community.”

This is the third year for the grant program which is available to schools within the Conway Regional service area (Faulkner, Cleburne, Perry, Conway and Van Buren counties). It offers PreK-12th grade educators financial support for innovative classroom programs promoting physical activity, good nutrition and/or personal wellness.

The grants stem from the council’s emphasis in 2015 on childhood obesity awareness and prevention. Since its inception, the women’s council has awarded $17,298 in grants.

The women’s council received $3,200 in donations through the Annual Arkansas Give Day, held last spring, and a matching grant from Central Arkansas Pediatrics, to help fund the program. The remaining funds represent proceeds from the annual Dazzle Daze fundraiser, planned by the women’s council.

This year’s grant recipients:

Amy Hutto (South Side Bee Branch) – Healthy Mind, Healthy Body (yoga in the library media center). The program is designed to increase body awareness and decrease stress.

Amy Jones (Anne Watson Elementary School in Bigelow) – Continuation of the Panther Kids Running Club. This is the second year for the school to receive a women’s council grant for the program.

Amanda Krell (Carolyn Lewis Elementary School in Conway) – Continuation of the school garden/Garden Café program. This is the second year for the school to receive a women’s council grant for the program.

Brian Sharp (Vilonia Primary School) – Healthy Hearts program, which includes the purchase of heart rate monitors.

Lena Priest and Jenni Lea (Carl Stuart Middle School in Conway) – Purchase games to increase the playing of sports games with students, family and friends.

Leslee Tell (Conway High School) – “Nutrition Matters” healthy eating program, which teaches sound nutritional practices and healthy eating to students.

Monica Flowers (Courtway Middle School) – Add beds to increase participation in the school’s Farm 2 School Garden program, which includes teaching students about the benefits of gardening.

Nathan Moreland and Taylor Stone (Greenbrier Middle School) – Create a walking trail for students to use, primarily before school, as part of the school’s overall fitness program goals. This is the third year for the school to receive a teacher’s grant from the women’s council.

Nicole Loftis (Ida Burns Elementary School) – Plant a Salad program, which includes development of a vegetable garden to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Savannah Hurley (Compass Academy in Conway) – Project Get Fit, which will teach special needs students how to be more responsible for their health and wellness.

Tiffany Barnes (Carolyn Lewis Elementary School in Conway) – Technology to help with the school running club.

“Through the Teacher’s Grant, the Women’s Council is offering educators the opportunity to impact the lives of their students by offering programs specifically designed to promote physical activity, good nutrition and/or personal wellness,” said Aimee Prince, president of the Women’s Council.

For more information about the grant program, contact the Conway Regional Marketing and Foundation Office at 501.513.5771, email [email protected] or visit conwayregional.org/womenscouncil.