- Parma City School District
Ridge-Brook PTA secures $3,000 to help kids and families be healthy and safe
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 www.parmacityschools.org/pta.