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Red Bay Elementary receives grant

(L to R): Red Bay High School elementary principal Johnny Cleveland; RBHS board member Mike Shewbart; Jeff Adams, Community Relations Manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama; Dr. Jacqueline Parsons; State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow; and RBHS principal Kenny Sparks. Photo by Brandi Miller.

By Brandi Miller

For the FCT

RED BAY – The Red Bay High School elementary physical education program will be receiving some new equipment thanks to the hard work and dedication of Dr. Jacqueline Parsons.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama “Be Healthy” grant has awarded Red Bay High School a grant in the amount of $7,550.

The grant is being awarded to RBHS due to the plan submitted by Parsons to fight childhood obesity through exercise, nutrition education, and parental involvement during the school year.

“I want to thank Rosalyn Fabianke for suggesting that I write the grant and Katrine Moore for her encouragement,” Parsons said.

Parsons said she’s grateful to receive the grant due to only having three days to write the complete grant.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama will make available $250,000 and award grants up to $10,000 to 25 schools across the state that enroll students in grades kindergarten through sixth. The grants are for the implementation of school-based health and wellness programs that emphasize increased exercise, nutrition education, and parental involvement.

A check for $3,775 representing 50 percent of the total grant has been presented to Parsons and RBHS. The remainder of the grant will be awarded in January 2015 once satisfactory progress is reported. Once a successful conclusion has been achieved, participating students will be awarded a Blue Cross Be Healthy medal, and RBHS will be presented with a Blue Cross Be Healthy banner.

“We are very excited about this grant,” RBHS elementary principal Johnny Cleveland said.

“This is a great opportunity for our students and school. I am thankful to Dr. Parsons for writing this grant for us.”

Cleveland said the physical education program is always looking for new and fun ways to encourage students to exercise and have healthy lifestyles and the money from this grant will allow the teachers to have extra money to meet this goal.

Donnie Hastings, the elementary physical education teacher, said he felt like it was Christmas due to only receiving limited fee money each year. He has ordered tunnels, six lanes of bowling, floor mats, push up guides, and a various assortment of balls that should be arriving at the school before Friday.

An electronic version of the Be Healthy School Grant Program application can be requested by emailing community relations at the BCBSAL website.