Grants Help North Thurston Students (and Staff) Get Moving

Originally published June 13, 2019 by

By Heidi Smith

Healthy kids have better grades and higher graduation rates. We know there is a strong connection between education and health – a good education often leads to better jobs, higher income earnings and better access to resources that reinforce health over one’s lifetime. When schools inspire and help students, staff, and teachers to be at their physical, mental, and emotional best, learning thrives.

Kaiser Permanente is embracing this challenge head on through their Thriving Schools program. “Thriving Schools is our all-in engagement to improve health for students, staff and teachers,” says Kaiser Permanente Program Manager Jill Patnode. Read More

Nike awards $100,000 to Memphis nonprofits, schools

Originally published April 23, 2019 in the Daily Memphian.

By Kate Crawford

Nike has awarded 14 Memphis-area nonprofit organizations and schools a combined $100,000 to help children be more active.

The grants, awarded through the Nike Community Impact Fund, support programs that get kids moving through play, sport and physical activity. The grants were determined by a select group of employees from Nike’s North America Logistics Center and Community Store in Memphis who work with Charities Aid Foundation of America, Nike’s grant-making partner, to share local knowledge, then review and recommend the organizations to receive funding. Read More

Northwest’s McNeese honored for commitment to American Heart Association

Originally published April 18, 2019 in the Nodaway News-Leader.

The American Heart Association recognized Gina McNeese, an instructor of health and physical education at Northwest Missouri State University and the Horace Mann Laboratory School, with its Mission Impact Award for her commitment to physical fitness instruction and 30 years of leading students through the organization’s Kids Heart Challenge on April 12.

Stephanie Jumps, a youth market director with the American Heart Association, presented a medal and plaque to McNeese in front of a crowd of more than 400 third and fourth grade students and teachers from schools throughout Nodaway County. McNeese was leading them through fitness activities during the Hy-Vee Kids Fit event at the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse on the Northwest campus. Read More

DeLucia Puts the Fun in Fitness

Originally published March 6, 2019 in the Zip06News.

By Pam Johnson

He’s the star of Fitness Fridays, the mind behind some stellar physical education grants, the father of an annual family fitness fundraiser, and the ringmaster of a circus-based student experience. Suffice it say, physical education teacher Derek DeLucia puts the fun in fitness at Melissa Jones Elementary School (MJS).

Now in his sixth year at MJS, Derek (also known as “Coach D”) started making a splash at the school by instituting Fitness Fridays five years ago, using a grant he wrote and received from Guilford Fund for Education (GFFE). Read More

fitness drills

New Jr. Bucs fitness program expands from 24 to 300 schools

Originally published Aug. 22, 2018 in the Tampa Bay Times.

By Monique Welch

The Bucs’ new indoor practice facility filled with an uproarious sound Wednesday (Aug. 22) as hundreds of excited students sang and danced to rapper Flo Rida’s My House, while watching some of their favorite Bucs’ players take the field at training camp.

After the practice, students from Tampa’s Roland Park K-8 Magnet School, Lutz’ Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School and Osceola Middle School had the opportunity to meet players, get pictures, autographs and participate in various fitness drills with defensive back Keith Tandy (37), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90), receiver Mike Evans (13) and others. Read More