Neshoba Central Elementary School has received a $29,000 grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi to fund new health and fitness equipment and curricula through the Project Fit America organization.

The school will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its campus Friday at 9 a.m. where they will showcase the new equipment.

“We are extremely excited to receive this grant that will allow us to not only educate our students academically but also to educate them on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” Tiffany Plott, NCES principal, said.

The Project Fit America Program includes indoor and outdoor P.E. equipment, training for teachers, curricula and lesson plan support supplies.

 The outdoor equipment is specifically designed to address upper body, lower body, abdominal strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility for children. The freestanding structures of seven fitness stations are permanently installed outdoors on the school grounds.

The indoor equipment includes 1,000 “cardio cups” which are used for teamwork, challenge and cooperative cardiovascular activities. Also included are sport hoops, medicine balls and stability balls, providing weighted activity options that support upper body strength, cardio and abdominal training and development providing weighted activity options that support upper body strength, cardio and abdominal training and development.

Neshoba County Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley was excited about the grant.

“Physical fitness is every bit as important as academic fitness,” Brantley said. “Healthy habits are lifelong. They will have a lot of fun with it, especially the kids who don’t get out and play a lot. For a lot of kids, the only time they play is at school.”

The Project Fit America Program is designed to align with the state-mandated policy of 150 minutes of physical activity each week and to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to be physically active for a lifetime.

“The health and wellness of our students is vital to the future of Mississippi,” said Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

 “We are confident Neshoba Central Elementary students will benefit from this program and from making health and fitness a regular part of their lives.”

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation provides targeted funding throughout the state of Mississippi, focusing on interests related to health programs for schools, colleges and universities, and communities. You can learn more at www.healthiermississippi.org.