Weslaco elementary school receives health grant

WESLACO — National nonprofit organization Project Fit America has chosen Cleckler-Heald Elementary in Weslaco to receive a grant to encourage a more physical lifestyle for its students.

Creating sustainable and innovative broad-based fitness programs in schools, PFA worked with over 1,000 schools in over 300 cities across 46 states.

This grant integrates physical fitness with the curriculum by installing PFA outdoor fitness equipment at the school’s Panther Fit Pit.

“Research does show that not only is physical fitness important for a child’s physical development, it actually helps kids read and learn math. Physically active kids are better learners,” PFA Executive Director Stacey Cook said in a news release.

Cleckler-Heald administration is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. to unveil the Panther Fit Pit.

In addition to the Panther Fit Pit, indoor fitness equipment and curriculum that involves dynamic games, activities and challenges is also provided by the PFA program.

Physical education teachers will also be provided with on-site training.

The incorporation of the PFA program is made possible through a partnership with the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation. Due to their 2014 sponsorship of the PFA program, Cleckler-Heald was able to be one out of 19 schools to receive the grant.

Part of the Valley Baptist Health System, the foundation is just one of several programs aimed to improve the health and quality of life in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Quality fitness in education has a direct impact not only in a child’s health but their academic success,” Cook said.