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$2.3 million grant to aid student fitness, nutrition

CMSD will use a $2.3 million federal grant to help students make personal fitness and nutrition part of their daily lives.

The grant, from the Department of Education, will allow the District to:

• Provide teachers with a curriculum that conforms to state standards, increases student fitness and skill levels and fights obesity.
• Help students become role models for younger children and act as “health advocates at home.”
• Create high school “exercise science labs” that move beyond traditional sports models and introduce students to a variety of fitness and leisure activities.
• Develop after-school fitness programs.
• Give recess structure that promotes positive interaction among children and deters bullying.

Teachers will receive technology and use data to track student progress in meeting the state standards. Students will get access to online lessons.

Schools will launch the programs over the next three years, said Desiree Powell, the District’s director of academic electives and wellness. She believes the grant’s impact could be dramatic.


“I want the instruction of physical education, with emphasis on nutrition, to be so different that any parent, student and staff member in each school can visibly see it and feel the difference in the culture of the school,” Powell said.  

The grant will allow CMSD to expand its focus on health and nutrition.

A number of schools have earned recognition from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The nationwide program evaluates the way schools promote nutrition, health education and physical activity and create a healthy environment for students and staff.

Earlier this year, Garrett Morgan High School became the first school in Ohio to win the top Gold Award since the program began in 2006. Only 14 schools in the country received the Gold Award this year.

Five other CMSD schools received the third-highest honor, the Bronze Award: Campus International, Charles Dickens, Joseph Gallagher, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Willson.

Willson was one of three schools in Ohio to get $100,000 fitness centers this year from the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.

Garrett Morgan, Willson and Adlai Stevenson, Case and Marion-Sterling schools operate food pantries as part of the Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Initiative. Cleveland was picked last year to be the fifth city in the initiative, joining Chicago, Oakland and Newark in the United States and London.
The MetroHealth System has helped expand health care for students with clinics that provide medical services at three high schools and 10 PreK-8 or K-8 schools.