WALLS, MS (WMC-TV) - Several recent studies rank Mississippi at the bottom of the list when it comes to healthy lifestyles, but one school in Walls is trying to change that image.
As a sign at the school shows, Walls Elementary School is all about healthy children, and they want you to know about it. According to Principal Rebecca Kelley, the school was one of ten in the district recently awarded a $91,000 grant for coordinated school fitness.
"Mississippi leads the nation in obesity rate, and so we are just trying to do everything we can to involve the children physically as much as we can academically," Kelley said.
This follows a $100,000 grant the school received three years ago when it was initially selected to participate in the fitness program. In addition to adding new fitness equipment, the school also now has a walking track, a school nurse and a Convi-oven, which bakes food instead of frying.
Physical Education teacher Allison Taylor says it's very important to get involved.
"Whether it's running, jumping, hoping, skipping - everybody needs to be involved," she said.
Walls Elementary was also selected as a 'Project Fit America School'. For that honor, they received an outdoor gym.
Principal Kelley likes what she sees.
"We were the foundation for bigger and better things that have happened across the state," she said.
In the future, Kelley said, she would like to spend some of the recent grant money on a rainy day area built on concrete slabs. The proposed area would allow children to exercise whether the sun is shining or not.