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Sunday May 24th, 2015 11:23PM

Grants helping local schools with fitness and nutrition

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
UNDATED - Georgia health officials have announced North Hall Middle School, Chestnut Mountain Creative School of Inquiry and Black's Mill Elementary School in Dawsonville are among 21 schools that have gotten state grants to help fight childhood obesity.

North Hall Middle Principal Brad Brown said his school also got another fitness-based award.

"We also won the NFL Play 60 award. A total of $10,800. The $800 came additionally for some other equipment," Brown said.

With the Georgia grants, these area schools got up to $5,000 to implement physical activity and nutrition plans. They come from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Governor's SHAPE initiative.

Hall County school system spokesman Gordon Higgins said another Hall County school may be in line for the award.

"East Hall middle may also be getting a grant, so we keep getting good news about these initiatives we've got under way to have healthier lifestyles for the children here in Hall County."

Brown said they have a plan in place for the funds. He said one of the big items is activity bands. They cost about $150 a piece. They'll also buy an Ipad to track the data.

"The kids will actually sign these things out, and they'll set personal goals. We call them fuel goals," Brown said.

The devices keep track of the student's activity. When they turn them in, teachers can see if the student met their goals.

"We're going to have individual goals, class goals and competitions, just to try to get people involved," Brown said.

In addition to the grant money, Brown said his school has been busy with a variety of wellness activities. They revamped the school store and changed it to a fuel up station, with healthier snacks and portion sizes. They also do a morning announcement with healthy tips, as well as exercise flash mobs and family fitness nights.

Brown said they also do a morning mile, with students voluntarily coming in early to walk.
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