Grantsto help students stay active

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BRATTLEBORO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont's Windham County Community Advisory Board (WCCAB) has provided over $5,000 in grants to area schools as part of its ongoing commitment to promote physical activity and improve the overall health of Vermonters.

Schools receiving grants are The Academy School, Brattleboro Area Middle School, Central Elementary School, Dummerston School, Green Street School, Oak Grove School and Retreat Farm.

"The WCCAB physical activity grants have given Central Elementary School the ability to offer physical activities to students in kindergarten through fourth grade," according to Peter Lawry, physical educator at Central Elementary School in Bellows Falls. "The equipment that we've purchased with the support of the WCCAB is in use this school year, and will be for many years to come."

Lawry points out that grants have sustained a number of programs at the school, including inline and ice-skating, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and swimming, in which students might not otherwise have been able to participate.

"We have been involved in supporting community-based efforts to increase physical activity for 20 years through the WCCAB," explains Megan Peek, director of community relations and health education for Blue Cross. "This small grant program directly supports the promotion of daily physical activity in schools and is an important way for us to support life-long healthy habits, addressing the risks of rising obesity and increasingly sedentary lifestyles of our children."

For more information about the grants, call Megan Peek at 802-764-4858.

The Windham County Community Advisory Board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont formed in 2000 to identify and address health needs in the area through programs, events and activities. The Board consists of community leaders who are dedicated to improving the health of their neighbors.

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