RCPS awarded three-year grant for developing healthy culture

Heather Bell

RADFORD – Radford City Public Schools has been awarded a three-year grant from The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to support Project GROW, designed to create a sustainable health culture in the Radford community.

Project GROW seeks to create that culture “through hunger mitigation and food security efforts, an expanded physical environment that fosters fitness, and nutrition education for children and their families,” according to it mission.

“Our school community is completely invested in making a positive difference in the lives of our students,” said RCPS Superintendent Rob Graham. “The dedication and commitment we have from all of our partnerships helps make this school division so special. This grant will continue to help support our vision of “Excellence in Education…Every Student, Every Day,” and we look forward to working with all team members affiliated with Project Grow.”

The grant provides $90,000 to implement a Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) including Radford City Public Schools, faculty from the departments of Psychology and Counselor Education at Radford University, the Bobcat Backpack program, Beans and Rice program, parent representatives, and the City of Radford.

Radford University faculty members, Dr. Sarah Hastings and Dr. Hartig, both joined the Radford city community in 2006 and say they are happy to be a part of the Project GROW team.

“It is where we have raised our children, and we feel very connected to this place and are invested in helping Radford families thrive,” said Hartig.

 “We are thrilled to be part of this exciting project that will help our community for generations to come,” said Hastings. “Growing healthy children leads to healthy schools and communities, which is our ultimate goal.”

According to a statement from RCPS, “projects for the first year include increasing food security for children, expanding a school-based running/walking club, supporting a bike trip for all 6th grade students, and making improvements to Radford City that support physical fitness. Planned educational programs will introduce children and families to affordable and nutritious foods and food preparation methods, host speakers in nutrition and cooking, develop a cooking club, and expand a school garden.”

We are excited to have support through this grant which will help support healthy learning and living opportunities for our students,” said Belle Heth Elementary School Principal Tara Grant.


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