DMF has awarded a grant for $62,690 to the South East Education Cooperative (SEEC) to dramatically improve the health of students. These grant dollars will support Healthy Schools Programs which will increase academic performance, reduce classroom behaviors, and improve cognitive skills and attitudes of students in participating schools.
This pilot program will focus on 11 individual school buildings, while offering professional learning opportunities to all SEEC member school staff, creating the potential to reach over 30 percent of the K-12 student population in the state of North Dakota. Participating pilot schools include: Barnes County North, Bennett Elementary (Fargo), Carl Ben Eielson Middle School (Fargo), Central Cass, Griggs County Central, LE Berger Elementary (West Fargo), Liberty Middle School (West Fargo), Litchville-Marion, Maple Valley Elementary, Montpelier, and Sheyenne High School (West Fargo).
About $40,000 of the grant will be used to purchase 10 sets of 24 new, innovative wearable technology devices and software to be used by the participating school’s physical education staff, plus required training for school staff. The devices and software, made by Interactive Health Technologies, make up the Whole State Solution “IHT Spirit System.” The IHT Spirit software platform is the only program available that will enable teachers to measure the impact of all components of their curriculum at the student, classroom, building, district and state levels. This software can help correlate increased moderate to vigorous physical activity, physical literacy and fitness to improved academic performance.
Outside of the wearable technology, the remaining grant funds will support professional learning opportunities SEEC will be coordinating for participating schools such as Active Recess and Classroom trainings and Smarter Lunchrooms trainings.
SEEC and DMF have forged a strong relationship and will continue to work collaboratively to support the Healthy Schools Program’s focus on reducing overweight and obesity in children by increasing opportunities for students to be physically active while at school and improving school nutrition environments.
“DMF is honored to work with SEEC in delivering pioneering efforts to help our region’s children develop lifelong healthy habits,” said Pat Traynor, Dakota Medical Foundation executive director.