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Ridge-Brook PTA secures $3,000 to help kids and families be healthy and safe

Principal Steve Perry at PTA event in November February 3, 2020


Ridge-Brook Elementary School PTA has brought in‭ $‬3,000‭ ‬in grants to support healthy habits among students and families‭. ‬

Amanda Rouse‭, ‬Ridge-Brook Elementary School PTA President‭, ‬said the school has received three grants so far‭, ‬with possibly more‭ ‬grant funds on the way‭. ‬

“The first grant was through Action for Healthy Kids‭,‬”‭ ‬she shared‭. ‬“There were many different options‭, ‬but what I was approved for was to help increase healthy drinking habits‭. ‬So the idea was to‭ ‬have money to buy water bottles for all the kids in the school‭.‬”‭ ‬

This is a‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant and was sponsored in part by ALDI Grocery Stores‭. ‬The school will also host an event in April during Action for Healthy Kids Week and has started a Healthy‭, ‬Safety and Wellness Committee at the school‭. ‬Parma Park Elementary School also received a‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant through Action for Healthy Kids‭. ‬

Rouse said that there is a second part to this grant‭. ‬Because Ridge-Brook is so close to an ALDI store‭, ‬the school was nominated‭ ‬to be a deluxe school‭, ‬which would qualify for another‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant‭. ‬

“This would go toward the Action For Healthy Kids Week event that we are planning‭,‬”‭ ‬she explained‭. ‬“We haven’t heard back anything yet‭, ‬but we are hoping for good news‭. ‬The tentative idea‭, ‬however‭, ‬is to do a Family Walk to School paired‭ ‬with possibly a tasting at breakfast of healthy muffins and fruits‭.‬”

The PTA at Ridge-Brook would also love to put a water filling station in the third‭- ‬and fourth-grade wing‭. ‬

“What we want to stress to teachers is that water breaks are good for the kids‭,‬”‭ ‬Rouse shared‭. ‬“A nice part of this grant is that it does help the school put health‭, ‬safety and wellness at more of a focus‭.‬”

Going along with staying healthy and hydrated‭, ‬the school also received through National PTA and Nestle a‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant to do an‭ ‬infused water tasting‭. ‬

“We did this in November in conjunction with our game night‭,‬”‭ ‬Rouse described‭. ‬“What we received were vouchers for water and there was a whole lesson plan about how much sugar is in popular drinks‭. ‬From lemonade to Gatorade to pop‭, ‬we had little cups with teaspoons of sugar to represent each drink‭. ‬Then students had to guess which drink corresponded to the cups of sugar‭. ‬We also had fruit-infused water to try‭, ‬so families tried strawberry and cucumber mint‭.‬”

The PTA had money left over from this event‭, ‬so Rouse said once a month‭, ‬the PTA has an infused water-tasting event during lunch‭. ‬Grant money is also being used for teachers to be able to model good drinking habits‭, ‬too‭.‬

“I would love for the whole school to sign a pledge and hang them up in the cafeteria that shows that everyone is pledging to drink more water‭,‬”‭ ‬Rouse expressed‭. ‬“I would also like to maybe have a sticker that says‭ ‬‘I tried fruit water today’‭. ‬The goal is to help students make healthy choices and informed decisions‭.‬”

Finally‭, ‬Ridge-Brook PTA received a‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant for internet safety through Google’s Be Internet Awesome initiative‭. ‬

The school will be hosting an event on February 13‭ ‬during Safer Internet Week‭, ‬and the grant will provide all the materials and‭ ‬the presentation for families‭. ‬PTA will provide food and is planning to raffle off a tablet or Chromebook‭. ‬

“This is a whole family engagement event where families will learn about topics like screen time‭, ‬being safe on the internet‭, ‬YouTube Kids‭, ‬and Google’s Family Link to monitor their children’s activity on an Android phone‭,‬”‭ ‬Rouse explained‭. ‬“This gives families a chance to talk to their children about internet safety and what they are looking at on the internet and doing their devices‭.‬”‭ ‬

Parma Council of PTAs received a‭ $‬5,000‭ ‬grant for internet safety from Google to do a district-wide training in March‭. ‬

Ridge-Brook PTA is also in the running for a‭ $‬1,000‭ ‬grant through MyCOM Cleveland‭. ‬If awarded this grant‭, ‬the PTA would like to‭ ‬put positive messages in the bathrooms and teacher’s lounge as well as create a sensory path on the floor in the building‭. ‬

‭ ‬“I’m just blown away‭,‬”‭ ‬Rouse shared‭. ‬“We were very lucky‭, ‬and it just goes to show that you should apply for everything because you never know‭. ‬This gives us the ability to do these different things with our students and staff‭. ‬We want to keep building on these initiatives and keep engaging our families with these healthy habits‭. ‬I hope kids are going home and talking to their parents about these things‭.‬”‭ ‬

“I’m very excited that PTA has taken the initiative to promote healthy choices for our students‭,‬”‭ ‬expressed Steve Perry‭, ‬Principal at Ridge-Brook‭. ‬“PTA does a fantastic job of always reaching out to outside resources to enhance the learning process for our students‭. ‬I know Amanda has really spearheaded the healthy grants and has provided some of her healthy choices during different PTA events‭. ‬She’s even provided some during lunch time‭. ‬It’s also great that these grants exist to help organizations such as our PTA to make a positive impact on the school and for our students and staff‭.‬”‭ ‬

Anyone can join and support the PTAs throughout the district‭. ‬For more information‭, ‬visit‭ ‬‭. ‬