We are proud associate members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), a coalition that brings together over 195 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, a professional sports organization, NGOs, trade associations, and the U.S. Army aimed at doing their part to help families reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity.
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation focuses on reducing childhood obesity through two main avenues – families and schools. In order to provide the best value to students, HWCF partnered with Discovery Education to develop a free energy balance curriculum for teachers, Energy Balance 101. And, thanks to HWCF partners and associate members, they are able to offer a variety of sweepstakes to give teachers and parents the chance to win new playgrounds and sporting equipment for their school. The hope is that these prizes provide an environment where students can get the exercise they need. This year HWCF held their second annual Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes. Last year they awarded one prize, but this year they expanded the sweepstakes to award two grand prize winners, one of which is dedicated to Title 1 schools.
Last week HWCF announced the grand prize winners; Speake School in Danville, AL and Dupont Elementary in Hopewell, VA. They will both receive brand new playgrounds from Playworld Systems and $30,000 in equipment and prizes from Sports Authority! The winning entry for Speake School came from first-year teacher Leslie Archer. Her principal, Tina Blankenship, spoke with HWCF about her constant struggle with a lack of funding. Believe it or not, their playground equipment had not been updated since her daughter, now 21, was an early elementary student at the same school! Due to these financial constraints, Speake School relies heavily on grants. In fact, 83 different people entered the sweepstakes on behalf of Speake School! It is inspiring for us to see communities come together and work to make sure their children have a more active and healthy lifestyle.
We recognize everyone’s budget is restricted, but we noticed Title 1 schools are having an especially hard time. That is why HWCF added a separate grand prize drawing just for those communities. Martha Staples, the kindergarten teacher at Dupont Elementary in Virginia with the winning entry, was on her way to pick up her next PE class when she heard the news. “We are beyond excited about being a grand prize winner,” said Ms. Staples. “A new playground has been number one on our wish list for many years.” The Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes was a community effort for Dupont as well. 42 different people entered on behalf of the school!
We are thrilled to be a part of the work HWCF is doing in schools, providing the resources necessary for students to get the physical activity they need during the school day. We cannot wait to see the “after” effect of these makeovers!
Visit togethercounts.com and take advantage of all that’s available to you, your children and your community.