Online votes can help BMS

Published 10:12pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The new Brewton Middle School has just about everything teachers and students need, but one thing it lacks: physical education equipment for female students.

That is where aspiring teacher and coach Terri Lynne Peacock comes in — and where the community can help, as well.

Peacock, a graduate student at Auburn University Montgomery, began studying about potential grant money during her coursework for a master’s degree in physical education.

“In one of my courses at AUM, I was required to write a grant proposal for a project,” she said. “In doing some online research, I came across the 2011 Henkel Helps Kids Get Fit Contest. For the past year, I have also been a substitute teacher for Brewton City Schools and helped to create the ‘Fit Girl’ program at the Brewton YMCA. As a kinesiology major, this grant afforded me the opportunity to do something positive in the way of fitness for the young people of the Brewton community.”

Peacock said she wants to be a positive influence for young children and help them learn how to develop fitness habits that will last a lifetime, especially since childhood obesity is a growing problem not only in Alabama but across the country.

“The grant required me to partner with an area school and to create a story and a two-minute video about how the school would use the $10,000,” Peacock said. “After a tour of the new middle school with principal Mr. (Doug) Prater, I saw the need for fitness equipment in the aerobics room. When I found out that the grant I submitted was one of the five finalists, I immediately contacted Mrs. Robin Griffin, BMS school nurse. She has been a tremendous resource and help for completing this exciting project. I could not have completed this project without the help of the administration, staff, faculty and students at BMS. I also would like to thank Stephanie Walker , Vivian Layton and Steve Layton for their support and ideas.”

Peacock said now it is up to the community to make this a reality.

“Go to Henkelhelps.com and vote once per day until Sunday, Nov. 20, or text BREW50101,” Peacock said.

Participants may only use one e-mail address per person and vote only once per day. Failure to follow this guideline may lead to disqualification, Peacock said.

According to the Henkelhelps.com Web site, BMS is currently doing things to help students stay healthy.

“In 2006, schools across the country were required to develop Local School Wellness Policies that set standards for nutrition education, physical activity and activities that support student wellness,” the Web site states. “Brewton Middle School operates a lunch program under the guidelines and regulations of the federal child nutrition program. While there is a commitment to providing daily opportunities for kids to be active, there is a lack of equipment to provide a program that focuses on developing fitness skills for all students, especially females. Currently, BMS students participate in 50 minutes of physical activity each day. When school bells rang for the 2011-2012 school year, BMS students proudly walked the hallways of a brand new school building, complete with two gyms and an aerobics room. However, the aerobics room is empty and there are no funds to purchase much-needed equipment.”

With the new equipment, the students will be able to accomplish goals they thought they would never be able to achieve, students Lizzy Pollitte and Erin Wade said in the video.

“The new equipment would help a lot of girls stay in shape,” eighth grade BMS student Raven Bryant said. “It would keep them more active and together and keep them communicating with each other.”

Eighth-grade student Zoey Sexton said new equipment at the school would give girls something to do.

“The boys play football outside, and we really do not have much to do,” Sexton said. “With this, we would be able to be fit, have fun, and it would just give us something to do instead of just sitting around.”

Only one vote per day per real email address is allowed by contest rules. No fake emails are allowed.

Peacock said she hopes community members will get involved and vote.

“Too many girls are not physically or psychologically healthy, happy or confident about themselves,” Peacock posted on the Web site. “These girls are in grave danger… and they need our help. Women’s Sports Foundation research and numerous other research studies point to physical activity as a fundamental solution to the serious and unique health and social problems faced by girls today. Regular participation in physical activity during childhood and adolescence promotes the development of a positive body image, boosts confidence and self-esteem, and improves academic performance and career success. Funding for Alabama schools has been cut tremendously over the last two years. While we have a great community that is willing to support our efforts, it is a small community and businesses are struggling. Our students need the necessary materials and equipment to develop motor skills and to help them develop healthier lifestyles.”

The grant application said the school could put $10,000 to good fitness use.

“If BMS were to receive this grant we would be able to equip the aerobics room with fitness equipment such as hand weights, yoga mats, stability balls and Bosus balls,” Peacock wrote for the company’s Web site. “Students would be taught how to use the equipment properly. This grant would also allow the school the opportunity to purchase some technological tools for its fitness program. Students would learn how to use pedometers and heart rate monitors. A walk fit program could be incorporated into the overall school program. The grant would also aid in the purchase of athletic equipment for female sports. Lifetime sport units teaching the skills of volleyball, tennis and aerobic dance could be incorporated into the fitness program. Our community is actively involved in promoting the Healthy Community, Healthy Children program. The physical education instructors at BMS are committed to improving fitness opportunities for their students.”

http://henkelhelps.com/vote-now.aspx

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