A $100,000 grant is helping Craigflower elementary school offer greater physical education and increased opportunities for its students.
With the grant, the 160-student school is able to offer after-school sports programs it would otherwise not be able to. As a small, public school, funding is limited and principal Lynne Moorhouse said they have had to pick their battles.
“Schools have to make a choice,” Moorhouse said. “You can have a specialist, we have a librarian, but it’s only one day a week. … We have computers.”
The money is coming by way of $50,000 from the Rotary Club of Victoria, with the funds being matched by the Victoria Foundation. The money is being used to fund the ABC’s of Physical Literacy program developed by the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence.
Beyond teacher-led PE classes, the school has not been able to offer physical education programming at the school. The $100,000 will go towards physical education programs during class time and free after-school programs four days per week.
“We know that the more hand-eye coordination, the breakdown of skills, the more development of that part of the brain, the better your reading, the better your tracking, the better your overall health,” Moorhouse said. “PISE provides that healthy, necessary brain development that helps the children academically.”
Moorhouse said growing up she would walk or run everywhere as a child, playing outside in the evenings.
“Our kids don’t have any of that,“ she said. “What PISE does is that missing component we have, especially in underprivileged children and in poverty situations, and children that just don’t have an opportunity to have a wide variety of experiences.”
Funds for the grant were raised through the sale of raffle tickets.