action for healthy kids logoFair Oaks Elementary and Garden City Elementary are proud recipients of $1,000 Game On grants from Action for Healthy Kids for the 2019-2020 school year. These schools are two of 121 sites nationwide that received funding from community partner Cargill this year.

Both Fair Oaks and Garden City used the grant money to invest in students’ well-being—promoting nutrition, physical activity and mindfulness to ensure all students are healthy, active and ready to learn.

At Fair Oaks, students are already benefiting from the purchase of a Gaga Ball Pit that was designed and built by a local Boy Scout, said Resource Manager Katie Deneson. The Gaga Ball Pit encourages physical activity and gives students another active recess option; more importantly, perhaps, is that no specific sport skill is needed to play.

“Many students who don’t normally play organized sports during recess are playing this game,” Deneson added. “It is a way of making all students feel part of the big group and is a success because they are running and laughing and going after the ball!”

At Garden City, School Counselor Rachel Lund said her site recently purchased mindfulness materials such as chimes, breathing balls, calm down bottles and yoga blocks.

“The other half [of the grant money] is for healthy classroom parties and celebrations,” she added. “We are making kits for classes to use when they earn rewards.”

Fair Oaks and Garden City are among 19 schools statewide to receive Game On grants this year. Fair Oaks has been awarded a Game On grant each of the past four years.

Since 2009, Action for Healthy Kids has provided $8.7 million in grants to help schools accomplish their student wellness goals. Learn more

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A one-time appropriation of $728,149 in supplemental aid through the state’s Safe Schools levy will help Osseo Area Schools advance its efforts to create a secure single point of entry at schools and to support children’s mental health needs.

Approximately $530,000 of the one-time funds will be used to support a secure single point of entry at schools, which means providing the following:

  • Intercom and door release from the main entrance vestibule to the main entrance.
  • Laminated safety glass to strengthen all glass in the main entrance inner vestibule.
  • New main entrance and main entrance vestibule cameras to view visitors.
  • Ability to lock down the main office to prevent an unwanted person from entering the school.
  • Strobe lights to advise traveling staff, buses and others when the school is in a lockdown.
  • Duress alarms that can be activated by front office staff to alert the police.
  • Electronic visitor and volunteer management system.

The one-time funds will pay for all but one of the above components; other funding sources will be identified to gain the ability to lock down the main office to prevent an unwanted person from entering the school.

Almost $200,000 of the funds will support mental health services provided by a community partner during the school day, which will help address student needs while reducing the amount of missed class time for students receiving those services.