Grant Funding Catalyzes Community Support for Health
Highland View Elementary School
Silver Spring, Maryland
The community served by Highland View Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland is richly diverse with families of different ethnicities, cultural experiences, and socio-economic statuses. A common thread across all families is a commitment to improve the lives of their children. The teachers, administrators, and parents of Highland View Elementary School have done more than their part this school year, including applying for a grant from Action for Healthy Kids, to ensure the children are exposed to many different learning opportunities.
Highland View received a Parents for Healthy Kids grant, which they used to catalyze their community’s support for healthy activities. In the spring of 2019, parents from the PTA noticed a gap at the school in health and wellness programming. With their hearts set on sustainable long-term changes and mindful healthy options, this group of parents sought resources and found Action for Healthy Kids. Notified of their award in August 2019, parents immediately began changing the environment at the school by engaging volunteers and adding a healthy nutrition opportunity at all school events, where it hadn’t been previously planned. When seeking assistance for grant implementation, parents and community members who had never before taken part in school volunteer opportunities came out of the woodwork to assist the school- including a public health professional, a nutritionist, a child yoga instructor, a registered nurse, and many more!
This school year, Highland View hit the ground running by allowing healthy choices to infiltrate all that they do at the school. With help from grant funds, the school and PTA have planned grocery store tours, classes on healthy eating, lessons on packing a healthy school lunch, and culturally-informed nutrition classes. The Annual Highland View Holiday Bazaar typically revolves around cookies, but now they focus the event on in-season produce, particularly citrus, and provide students and families with educational materials about citrus produce. Parents have also hosted an apple taste test, allowing students to try a variety of apples (including much lesser known varieties) and rank their favorites.
This grant funding has had a two-fold benefit for Highland View Elementary: Not only were they able to purchase products and items needed for additional health and wellness programs, but it helped create a wellness mindset and recruit a new group of volunteers to continue to grow the PTA-led programs.
This grant was made possible with funding from ALDI.