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Rotary Charities Grant Funds Shape Up North, TCAPS Partnership

Healthy kids make better learners is the driving premise behind a collaboration between Shape Up North and Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS), as the organizations partner to explore the health and wellness needs of area students and their teachers.
Shape Up North – a collaboration between Munson Healthcare Community Health, area businesses, organizations, and school districts – and TCAPS were awarded a $20,000 Rotaries Seed Grant to expand their efforts into the new school year and to determine the next steps needed to create a more healthy school community.
The school system has already initiated pilot programs that examined the impact of exercise on reading, implemented healthier lunchroom choices, and expanded counseling and social work services. The goal of this Rotary Charities Seed Grant will be to create a road map based on physical, social emotional and nutritional needs of students and staff, and to determine priorities as the collaboration works to address systemic causes and seeks community solutions to improve health and wellness. Grant funds will go to support staff time from both Shape Up North and TCAPS and for a consultant to provide expertise on best practices.
“Now that school has resumed, we will develop an assessment for faculty, students and parents to help determine the greatest areas of need in our community and we will review ways local initiatives can help impact and support our work,” said Cindy Berck, Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations, whose office oversees district grants and the Ad Hoc Nutrition and Wellness Board Committee. “This will be key as we assess needs both during the pandemic and moving forward. We will also convene the TCAPS wellness committee to discuss the project and gather input.”
Munson Community Health Shape Up North Coordinator Alyson Kass said the grant is greatly appreciated.
“The Munson Community Health and Shape Up North teams are excited to continue our partnership with TCAPS,” she said. “We hope to help connect community resources with teachers, students and their families and believe these connections will be a great benefit to our entire community as we move forward.”