Surrounded by its healthy students and staff, Delano Union School District’s Fremont Elementary received its second Kern Health Systems grant during a ceremony Friday morning at the school.
The $35,000 grant presentation was part of the school’s Red Ribbon Week assembly. The week stresses saying “no” to drugs, alcohol and bullying, but saying “yes” to kindness, being R.E.A.L. Warriors and building healthy bodies. KHS CEO Doug Hayward was on hand to present the check, along with district director of health services Linda Hinojosa, who is a member of KHS board of directors.
District Superintendent Rosalina Rivera presented Hayward and KHS a plaque thanking the organization for its assistance with Fremont’s program.
Fremont Principal Teresa Cushnyr highlighted last year’s activities that occurred with assistance from the first KHS grant, which included more than 120 students running more than 100 miles during the year, which occurred with their families twice a week (the top female ran 134 miles and the top male, Steven Ramirez, ran 236 miles and made it all the way to the Valley Track Championships where he placed third in his event).
“We have truly built a culture that is sustainable,” Cushnyr said, “and will continue for years to come.”
Other activities included Coast to Coast soccer, refilling 3,000 bottles of water at the new bottle filling stations, building of the school’s sustainable garden with direction by Eagle Scout Wyatt Hunter and nutrition education presented by Karen Bayne with the UC Cooperative Extension. Similar programs have been funded by KHS in Lost Hills, Buttonwillow, Lamont, Lake Isabella and at East Bakersfield High School.
“Each wellness program was developed to address the specific needs of the student population with the support of parents, staff and community partners,” KHS Health Education Director Isabel Silva said. “We are pleased so many schools embraced the program’s goals and achieved great results.”
Cushnyr also introduced the DeLaToba family and their children Fernando, Francisco, Fabian and Fatima, who participated in all the running club events, cooking classes and asthma classes. The family provided much assistance the day that the sustainable gardens were built. Also in attendance was former Fremont vice principal Janice Vargas, who wrote the original grant. She is now the vice principal at Terrace Elementary School
The goal of the KHS grants is for schools to develop and implement a school-based wellness program, which would promote physical activity, healthy eating and overall wellness among the student population.
Mike Bledsoe is the director of child development services for Delano Union School District.