The Natick Public School system is one of seven nationwide to receive a $25,000 grant to reward its efforts in fighting children's obesity.
The grant competition seeks to reward schools using the most creative and impactive school-based programs and technologies promoting children’s physical activity.
Tufts Health Plan and ChildObesity180 launched the grant competition in February 2012 with the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit organization seeking to fight obesity in America.
First lady Michelle Obama encouraged participation in the competition with a call for applications via a video message, according to the organization.
Natick Superintendent of Schools Peter Sanchioni said the district is committed to reducing obesity in children to improve the health and wellness of the students and community overall.
“This grant will be used to create programs that will encourage a healthy lifestyle and stave off childhood obesity that causes so many avoidable health issues," Sanchioni said in a prepared statement.
Teachers and school district faculty submitted their school-based physical activity programs to the “School Programs” category, while the “Technology Innovation” category invited developers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how existing or emerging technologies could be used to inspire kids to be physically active.
A panel of experts representing various fields judged the entries.
Two schools won $100,000 grants from the competition: Corona-Norco Unified School District’s 100 Mile Club of Norco, Calif., and Red Hawk Elementary’s Red Hawk Movement of Erie, Colo.
Six other schools won $25,000 grants: El Paso Independent School District of El Paso, Texas; Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts of Hilton Head, S.C.; Meadowview Elementary School of Farmington, Minn.; Miami-Dade County Public Schools of Miami, Fla.; Overland Elementary School of Los Angeles, Calif.; and certain districts of Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood in New York, N.Y.
Natick won in the Northeast region category.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org