Bonaire Middle teacher receives grant for nutrition, exercise program

Sun News correspondentJanuary 1, 2014 

Students at Bonaire Middle School will be starting the new year learning healthy habits thanks to a teacher and Flint Energies.

Alice Mullis, a family and consumer science teacher at Bonaire Middle, applied for a grant through Flint Energies Foundation’s Bright Ideas program that gives money to teachers for unique ideas.

According to Flint Energies, the foundation awarded $10,000 in grant money in 2013. Teachers can each receive up to $1,000, and Mullis received $970.

Mullis’ program idea is entitled “Be the Best Me” and will be offered to students and their parents in the evenings.

Be the Best Me will cover a wide range of topics centered around healthy eating and physical fitness.

Mullis said the goal of the program is to get young people at the middle school level talking about good food choices and planning meals with their parents to improve their family’s wellness.

“We have a high rate of young people that are making bad food choices,” Mullis said. “Hopefully working with kids at a young age will teach them a different lifestyle, a different mind set about how to prepare food in a healthy way.”

Mullis used pizza as an example.

“Most kids love pizza, so we are going to talk about a healthier pizza, using whole grain in the crust and making better choices about toppings,” she said.

It made sense to start the program at the beginning of the new year since that is the time when so many people make resolutions about their health.

“People eat a lot during the holidays, so they have a concern this time of year. But one thing we want to stress is it is not a diet -- it is a lifestyle habit. Also we want to incorporate physical fitness into our daily lives. Any kind of exercise is better than none,” said Mullis.

Mullis also serves as the Family Career and Community Leaders of America chapter adviser.

Be the Best Me ties in with the national FCCLA program “Student Body,” which along with encouraging students to make healthy choices, also has competitive events in categories like “Eat Right” (exploring good nutrition); “Be Fit” (promoting exercise habits) and “Make Healthy Choices” (avoiding drugs, alcohol and tobacco and practicing good character).

Contact Alline Kent at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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