Arkansas students to benefit from tobacco settlement money - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas students to benefit from tobacco settlement money

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Hundreds of thousand of tobacco settlement dollars the State of Arkansas received is going right back out.  It's going out to the states' youngest residents in the form of grant money to promote healthy lifestyles.

"When children get good physical activity, you will see benefits for them even at 6, 7 and 8 years old," said Baldwin Elementary P.E. Teacher, Amy Glenn.   

Glenn is hoping roughly 9 thousand dollars in grant money will help these students lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

"You want them to get in the habit of doing it every day," said Glenn.

A foundation she hopes the students will build on.

"I hope they take away the ability to make better choices whether it be about physical activity or the fuel that they give their body," said Glenn.

"This grant will provide an additional hour of P.E. a week," said

Principal Donna Singleton says it will also provide  music and rhythm based curriculum and equipment to get kids moving.

"More and more kids are sedentary," said Singleton.

She adds the program will start with second graders.

"We're just wanting to offer more movement, more activity and that second grade level seemed a real opportune time to intervene with kids and their activity," said Singleton.

Singleton says there is not a big problem with obesity at the school, and hopes this is a step in the right direction to keep it that way.

"Hopefully our kids will be healthier and more successful as young adults and on into the rest of their lives," said Singleton.

"Research will tell you that people that are physically fit, or physically active are healthier, more social, more functional people," said Glenn.

Donna Singleton says training on the new curriculum for the teachers will start this summer, and they'll be ready to go in August.  She adds they may eventually spread the program to first grade and maybe even kindergartners.  As we mentioned, a number of schools in Arkansas and Region 8 were awarded thousands in grant money.  That includes Oak Grove, also in the Paragould School District.

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