The Pope John XXIII School, 1120 Washington St., will receive $4,000 from the Midwest Dairy Council to support its “Fuel Up to Play 60” initiative, the MDC announced. This nationwide funding program offers schools up to $4,000 to help them increase awareness of, and access to, nutrient-rich food and physical activity opportunities for students.

The school will use the grant to implement two programs. One, set to begin in March, will be a “Grab and Go Breakfast” station where students can get breakfast before school, to promote better learning through healthy eating. The program is the first of its kind for a Catholic school in this area.

“I hope this program will reduce visits to the Nurse’s Office for complaints of headaches and stomach aches related to not having breakfast, “ said Marjorie Leslie, school nurse, who initiated the grant with input from students, teachers and Principal Jeff Taylor, as well as the Parents’ Association and the Wellness Committee.

The school will also initiate a “yoga in the classroom” program. Teachers will be trained by certified yoga instructor Amanda Marcheschi in chair yoga and the use of resistance bands, so they will be able to hold classroom stretch breaks.
”Both of these initiatives have been shown to improve learning performance, and [they] show Pope John XXIII’s commitment to student [and] school wellness,” said Principal Taylor.