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November 14, 2018

McAllen School Wins $2,500 “Reimagine Recess” Grant for Student Health

Grant funding to help transform recess for local youth

(MCALLEN, TX) November 14, 2018 – McAllen’s Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary School was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (Laureus USA) as part of Reimagine Recess, an educational campaign that challenges the conventional perception of recess. Reimagine Recess is a collaboration between national social change organizations – the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation), Laureus USA and Red Nose Day in School

Recess has long been thought of as a period for elementary school students to play and spend time with friends. Reimagine Recess encouraged educators to redefine the time as more than physical activity and to incorporate social-emotional health topics – such as empathy, conflict resolution and relationship skills. Additionally, through Reimagine Recess’ interactive resource center, educators could utilize innovative tools and build a customized recess guide to meet the unique needs of their school environment.

Schools were encouraged to share photos from their reimagined recess on social media using the hashtag #ReimagineRecess for a chance to win one of two $2,500 recess grants from Laureus USA. Sanchez was one of two schools to receive a grant. Caruthersville Elementary School in Caruthersville, Missouri won the second $2,500 grant. The grants will be used to purchase recess equipment for their schools.

“At Sanchez Elementary, we teach and provide opportunities to our students to practice healthy behaviors because we know that healthy behaviors lead to academic achievement and to high attendance rates,” said Melissa Leal, Physical Education Teacher at Sanchez Elementary. “Because of this, our students are outperforming students across the state and are leading in attendance. We are so excited to have been awarded the “Reimagine Recess” Grant for Student Health.  We will be purchasing equipment to support our mission here at Sanchez and that is to help our students develop motor skills, knowledge and become physically active for a lifetime.”

“By participating in Reimagine Recess, schools across the country demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the physical and emotional well-being of their students,” said Brian Weaver, Chief Program Officer at Healthier Generation. “We commend Blanca Sanchez for thinking outside of the box when it comes to recess and for taking steps toward ensuring that teachable moments are ever-present during this critical time of day.”   

“At Laureus USA, we strongly believe that recess is just as important as reading or math in developing healthy and happy children,” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus USA and Olympic Gold Medalist. “It is our hope that Reimagine Recess will help more educators tap into the social, emotional and physical benefits of this important time during the school day.”

McAllen Independent School District schools have already been making progress toward creating healthier environments for students. Earlier this fall, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation recognized 18 McAllen ISD schools – including Blanca Sanchez – on the annual list of America’s Healthiest Schools. A total of 461 schools earned the distinction, among 26 states and the District of Columbia. This honor is granted to schools that meet a rigorous set of criteria, from availability of nutritious foods to access to quality physical education opportunities, as part of Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.


About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation  

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation believes every child deserves a healthy future. For more than a decade, Healthier Generation has been empowering kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health. Driven by our passion that all young people deserve a chance to live healthier lives, our work has helped more than 28 million kids across the country. Make a difference at HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter. 


About Red Nose Day USA / Red Nose Day in School  

Red Nose Day USA is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief USA, also known as Comic Relief Inc., is a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. Red Nose Day started in the U.K., built on the foundation that the power of entertainment can drive positive change, and has raised over $1 billion since the campaign’s founding in 1988. Since launching in the U.S. in 2015, Red Nose Day has raised over $145 million. Money raised by Red Nose Day USA supports programs that keep children in need safe, healthy and educated both in America and abroad. Red Nose Day USA has received generous support from millions of Americans, hundreds of celebrities and many outstanding partners, including Walgreens, NBC, Mars, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information about Red Nose Day and its impact, visit www.rednoseday.org. Follow @RedNoseDayUSA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  

Red Nose Day in School, a Red Nose Day USA program, provides educators with free resources to help students understand the issue of child poverty, develop empathy, and inspire them to create positive change — one nose at a time. To access the 2018/19 school year activities visit www.RedNoseDayinSchool.org.  


About Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA 

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA believes that sport has the power to change the world, as proclaimed by our founding patron Nelson Mandela. We are a grant-making, nonprofit organization that supports the growth and deepens the impact of 50 sport and youth development organizations nationwide. Through our Sport for Good Cities initiative, we unite communities to challenge the inequities facing underserved youth through the power of sport. Our local investments in cities improve the lives of more than 350,000 kids annually. Laureus USA is a proud member of the global Laureus network, which includes national Laureus Sport for Good Foundations, the Laureus World Sports Academy, and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Learn more about Sport for Good at http://www.LaureusUSA.com

Media Contact

Krista Washington

Vice President, Brand & Communications | Alliance for a Healthier Generation