Atchison Middle School

Atchison Middle School KAY club announces it has received $600 from the Be the Spark grant, through a partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and the Kansas Association for Youth Alumni Network.

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 1, 2020) — Atchison Middle School KAY club announces it has received $600 from the Be the Spark grant, through a partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) and the Kansas Association for Youth Alumni Network (KAYAN). Atchison Middle School KAY club was one of fourteen recipients of the grant. The funding will be used to support initiatives to encourage students to live more active lives.

“We are thrilled to be selected again as a Be the Spark recipient! Our previous Be the Spark grant helped to start some new initiatives in our building, as well as replace some items that needed updated. This new grant will allow us to expand and enhance those current initiatives.” shares sponsor, Stephanie Affield.

“I’m very excited for the new opportunities for our school and community. Receiving the Be the Spark grant was a very exciting moment for our KAY club and we can’t wait to share our grant with our school and community to make it a better place. Our goal as a KAY club is to learn about leadership and to give back and I think this is a great way to do that. I can’t wait to see what else KAY club will achieve in the future!” said AMS KAY board member, Grace Caudle.

AMS SPARK2 is a project idea developed by AMS KAY members for AMS students, staff, families, and our community. The project’s focus includes physical activity, mental health, and healthy eating options. Through Be the Spark, AMS has added several bottle filling stations, a salad bar for student use during lunch and various equipment to increase physical activity during club days, which occur about every other week at AMS. The new grant monies will be used to add a flat-screen television in the commons area. The television will be used as a means to share public service announcements, offer yoga, dance, and other activities, as well as spotlight activities happening at AMS.

“The Be the Spark initiative has been full of opportunities for students all across the state of Kansas, including brainstorming and dreaming big of how they can make a lasting impact on their school and community, writing letters of intent, having meaningful discussions with leaders of their schools and then putting those pieces together into a grant application,” said Katlin Bryan, Be the Spark project coordinator. “Through the generous grants from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and the KAYAN board’s organization of these grants, students have been given the opportunity to make a difference by promoting healthy lifestyles and mental health for themselves as well as future generations of Kansans.”

“It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm that these KAY club members have for Be the Spark,” said Virginia Barnes, director of Blue Health Initiatives for the state’s largest and only local health insurer. “They thoughtfully and carefully developed a plan that they determined was best for their school and community, one that will have long-term, sustainable results by helping themselves and their peers improve their lifetime physical and mental well being.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is proud to provide the funding necessary to make their initiatives become reality,” Barnes said.

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