PHS awarded $10,000 Be Healthy grant

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Pleasant Home School received some good news in the form of a $10,000 Be Healthy Grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

Physical Education Teacher Jessica Gibson received an email from BCBS of Alabama in May that PHS was selected for the grant as part of its Be Healthy Schools initiative. Each recipient had to meet three components to be considered: exercise, nutrition, and parental involvement. In addition, a school had to also be a public or private non-profit school located in the state of Alabama and serve students in grades K-6.

“It is huge for a school like ours to receive such a generous amount of money. It would take our physical education program several years to raise those funds. Because of the kind people at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, our students will immediately benefit from their generosity,” Gibson said.

Plans are to improve the school’s physical education department with new, updated equipment. “We will purchase outdoor fitness equipment, which will include double station chest press, double station lat pulldown, double station glider, double station leg press, single station country skier, and a single station rower. The students at Pleasant Home School will utilize the equipment to learn proper technique, gain muscular development, as well as cooperate in the partnership of learning,” she added.

Gibson said she truly believes that God’s hand is at work in all aspects of her life, and this is no different. “We are a small school located in the middle of a national forest. Although we have generous people in our community, most aren’t able to donate that amount of money towards the physical education department. Having people whom you have never met be so kind is such an affirmation for kids, school, and community.”

Children involved in physical education gain multiple benefits, according to Gibson.

“It improves physical fitness and coordination, develops student responsibility for health and fitness, encourages goal setting, facilitates intrinsic motivation, and aids in skill and motor development.”

As a physical educator, two of those are important for her: establishing a base for lifelong physical activity and promoting social skills through teamwork.

“What we as physical educators do is lay a foundation for all social aspects of life. No matter where their life takes them, they will socialize with others and be a part of a team. Whether in the workforce or at home, you will always have to work with others,” Gibson said.

Activities vary by school and class, but Pleasant Home’s physical education department offers students a wide variety. Those include aerobic exercise, archery, dancing, walking/jogging/running, weight training, bowling, and jump rope. Team games being taught range from basketball and volleyball to soccer and kickball. “We also have elementary activities, which encourage the development of locomotor, manipulative, and gross-motor skills,” she said.

This is Gibson’s 10th year in the field of education. She spent her first two years at Kinston School before returning to her alma mater, where she has spent the last eight years.

“I am surrounded by a group of supportive people and staff. Our principal, Amber McKathan, is second-to-none. She is a constant motivator and encourager in everything all students and staff do at Pleasant Home. Jennifer Withrow, one of our high school English teachers, more than tolerated me through the entire process. She read and reread, proofed, and corrected more times than I would try to guess. No matter how many times I asked, she was always there to take another look,” she said.

For more information call Pleasant Home School at 334-222-1315. “We are in a unique situation at PHS and have students starting in Pre-K all the way to 12th grade, so our day is never dull and always full of excitement,” Gibson said.