The field behind the third-fifth grade playground at Blue Ridge School will soon be adorned with soccer goals. The DPS elementary school was recently presented with a physical activity grant worth $2,500 from Action for Healthy Kids.
Dr. Alan Martineaux, Blue Ridges’ assistant principal, said the district Director of School Nutrition Dr. Linda Holland informed him about the grant and helped get the necessary paperwork and information needed during the application process.
The school had to state what physical and health activities they provide such as the annual health fair and Walk to School Day. Holland also got together numbers that told how many students at Blue Ridge were on free and reduced lunch, and how many students ate lunch in the cafeteria.
Martineaux and Blue Ridge originally asked for $5,000 (the maximum the grant would pay) to install a track on the school’s campus, but when Martineaux researched how much a quality track would cost, he reevaluated the plan and chose to install soccer goals on a field at the school instead.
“We have staff sponsors and volunteers that have been wanting to start a soccer club,” Martineaux said. “The kids asked for the goals, so they’re all really excited.
Martineaux said most of the money will go to the goals themselves, and the rest will go towards purchasing soccer balls and other equipment.
The soccer goals are just the first step in redesigning the campus of the school to promote more physical activity and fitness. Martineaux hopes to get the track in the future and also replace the swing sets.
“Many of our kids don’t have a lot of opportunity to go outside and play,” said Martineaux. “This will give them the opportunity to get out, move around, and play.”
By Lindsey Derrick, Dalton Public Schools Contributor