Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grant funding helps buy heart monitors for phys-ed students

March 14, 2007

Heart monitors will join the list of equipment in use in some Tonganoxie physical education classes, thanks to a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation.

School nurse Heather DeMaranville obtained a $999.50 grant from the foundation's Health Habits for Life program. She's used the money to purchase 10 heart monitors for use in physical education classes at Tonganoxie High School and Tonganoxie Middle School. There, students will learn to monitor their own heart rate.

"In today's world everyone is different and everyone's needs are different," DeMaranville said. "This is a program that doesn't cater to just one kid."

DeMaranville, in partnership with physical education instructors LeAnn Bond, Barb Gurss, Matt Bond and Ursula Kissinger, plans to use the heart monitors to teach students how to be and remain in good health throughout their lives.

"This is a good way to determine what suits them best to keep them healthy," DeMaranville said.

She said she was trying to attract funds to purchase additional monitors for use in the classes.

DeMaranville is one of 38 school nurses from across the state who received a Health Habits for Life grant to promote healthy lifestyle choices to their school-aged children.

"It was rewarding to see that so many school nurses like Heather are interested in helping Kansas kids reduce their cardiovascular risk, increase their physical activity or learn healthy eating habits; they just need financial resources to bring programs to their schools," said Graham Bailey, chief operating officer of the foundation. "The foundation believes that the good health habits instilled in our children today will carry over into their adult lives."

This is the first time the grant has been offered.

"We are pleased that the KSNO endorsed the Healthy Habits for Life grant program and worked with us to help lay a foundation for a healthier Kansas population in the future," Bailey said.

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