Ord Elementary Enjoys New Playground Equipment Thanks to Blue Cross Grant

Ord Elementary Enjoys New Playground Equipment Thanks to Blue Cross Grant
"Our Fearless Grant investment in Ord Public Schools' physical education will yield results for years to come. We know this because of the commitment the school, district educators and leadership have to physical wellness." Marjorie Maas, BCBSNE. Photo: BCBSNE

One of the things we talk about amongst our students is having a balance in our lives through having a strong body, a growing brain, and a happy heart.

- Principle Doug Smith, Ord Elementary

A strong commitment to physical education has paid off for Ord Elementary School. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) awarded a Fearless Grant to the school with a presentation and ribbon cutting on September 29.

According to BCBSNE, the grant was awarded in the amount of $16,900 for playground equipment and curriculum implemented by Project Fit America (PFA). PFA is an innovative physical education curriculum that focuses on building lifelong fitness habits in a fun and engaging manner. Since 2007, BCBSNE has funded PFA implementation in schools across the state.

Nebraska State Senator Tom Briese and local entrepreneur/U.S. Marine Matt Woodward spoke at the presentation along with performances by the cheer and dance teams. Ord Elementary Principle Doug Smith said the students were able to participate in the pep rally celebrating their new playground equipment.

“[There are] Seven different stations outside that students then rotate through and there’s a pretest that students will take and then a posttest to see their physical fitness gains through the use of this equipment in our curriculum,” Principle Smith said.

Principle Smith said the school and the community are excited to have received the nearly $17,000 grant for the equipment and believes this will help promote balance and healthy lifestyles for the Ord elementary students.

“One of the things we talk about amongst our students is having a balance in our lives through having a strong body, a growing brain, and a happy heart. And I feel like physical fitness plays a major role in your social and emotional health as well, and just watching the kids in action out back with Coach Dexter Goodner–who is our P.E. teacher who wrote the grant–watching them in action with him, man, we have hardworking kids. And I know that’s going to pay a lot of health dividends just by feeling good about themselves,” Principle Smith said.

According to Smith, second year P.E. teacher Dexter Goodner applied for the grant last April in an effort to encourage kids to work hard and feel good about themselves. The new equipment was installed over the summer with the help of local contracting companies and the local FFA Chapter.

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