Building a Healthy Mississippi

Grenada Upper Elementary is Mississippi's Healthiest School in 2017

Grant Awarded: $50,000


Taking top honors as the “Healthiest School in Mississippi” for 2017, Grenada Upper Elementary School has made significant progress in enhancing its wellness goals. Health screenings, nutrition education and fitness classes are available for faculty and staff at no cost. Students are taught the value of health and are given opportunities for short bouts of exercise during the school day. Vending machines available to students, faculty and staff offer only healthy beverage and snack items.

With innovative programming such as the “Walk with the Principals” campaign to promote daily exercise and various opportunities for faculty and staff to attend fitness classes and healthy cooking demonstrations, the school is building a sustainable model for individuals who want to live healthy lifestyles. Grenada Upper Elementary School is a true role model of health and wellness for schools across Mississippi.

With the $50,000 grant award, Grenada Upper Elementary School plans to replace ageing fitness equipment, and purchase additional fitness equipment for use by students, faculty and staff, to include treadmills, rowers and stationary bikes.

2017 Healthy School - Columbia Elementary School

Grant Awarded: $25,000

Columbia Elementary School

Columbia Elementary School is committed to health and wellness in alignment with one of the overreaching strategic goals established by the Columbia School District. The “Health is Academic” incentive program reinforces healthy behaviors to impact students’ academic achievement as studies show health and learning go hand-in-hand.

Daily fitness activities are offered to students that include martial arts, archery and planting and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables in the school’s garden. Fun fitness and nutrition challenges are available for faculty, staff and parents, such as afternoon exercise group classes and healthy cooking classes that provide recipes and tasting opportunities.

With the $25,000 grant award, Columbia Elementary School plans to enhance the school garden by adding a garden work bench and installing a vertical garden wall for use in growing herbs and fruits. The school also plans to purchase cardiovascular fitness equipment for the newly constructed wellness center.

2017 Healthy School - Pass Christian Elementary School

Grant Awarded: $25,000

Pass Christian Elementary School

Located on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast as part of the Pass Christian School District, Pass Christian Elementary School thrives on providing an environment where students learn the importance of healthy eating and exercise. In-class physical activity breaks are encouraged to allow students to participate in short bouts of exercise before returning to their studies.

Faculty and staff use fitness bands attached to the bottom of their desks to incorporate movement while seated. To encourage health and wellness, a yoga and walking club is available to faculty and staff after school hours. Monthly incentives are available to teachers who participate in school wellness activities and have perfect attendance.

The school’s annual 5K and One-Mile Fun Run event is popular among students, parents and members of the surroundin community. The inaugural event was held in 2013, and has grown to include a health fair with free health screenings, tobacco prevention education and opportunities to taste healthy foods.

Pass Christian Elementary School plans to use the $25,000 grant award to create a wellness center outfitted with exercise equipment designed to improve cardiovascular fitness. The wellness center will be available for use by students, faculty and staff.

About the Judges

Healthy School Awards applications are evaluated by a panel of known health and wellness champions from across Mississippi. Judges for the 2019 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Healthy School Awards Program were: