The sense of accomplishment as one conquers a situation which might otherwise be out of reach is very powerful. The Silver Sampler Summer Seniors offered a new set of outdoor recreation experiences for seniors 55 and over who live within the service area of the Marquette Senior Center. With a goal of introducing seniors to new hiking trails and water pathways and hopefully revisiting some of the special places they discovered in the past. The $500 grant from the Community Foundation was used to engage Senior Citizens in outdoor activities to enhance their physical, emotional and community growth and increase awareness and skills in outdoor recreation in and around Marquette. Participants have been able to explore numerous outdoor venues (hiking and kayaking) and have also been introduced to non-program events such as races, hikes and biking opportunities offered in the community. One returning participant from last year was anxious to rejoin in 2017, she signed up for all the scheduled events. Unfortunately, her husband had a serious stroke. Immediately, group members, the group leader and the project director reached out to offer support. They stayed in contact with her. She later returned to the group saying the group “saved” her!
The Forsyth Township Public Library received a grant to fund their Lego Club program. The grant helped them purchase a variety of building clocks and idea books in preparation for the launch of Lego Clubs for children of varying ages in the Gwinn Community. The Lego Clubs launched during the Summer Reading Program at the Library. A total of 82 children and 34 adults attended the twice-weekly clubs during the six-week program. They began offering After School Lego Clubs in September twice per month serving 52 children to date. They are now able to provide children with snacks as well. They also offer Duplo building once per month at our weekly Story Times for our younger patrons to enjoy. Children are learning to share and work together. They are excited about reading the Lego books that have been added to their collection, which strengthens literacy and promotes a love of reading.
Healthy living will continue in Marquette County schools, preschools and day cares this year all thanks to a 100,000 grant from The Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA), and The Superior Health Foundation and the Community Foundation will be using the money to ensure the continuation of the PE-Nut Expansion Project (P.E.P).
The program is targeted at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity of students in nine local elementary school and Early Childhood Programs in Marquette and Alger Counties.
As part of an in classroom component of the program a health educator visits the schools several times a year to ensure simple consistent messaging to motivate students. Students also get the chance to build their own healthy meals in those classroom settings.
The foundation's CEO, Gail Anthony, is confident the lessons will provide a unique spin on health education.
"They introduce them in a fun way, hands-on activities, it is increasing the use of healthy foods in the home," said Anthony. "It's a fun activity and it's a good outcome for the families."
A new feature of P.E.P. is the addition of a new target audience of four-year-olds and their parents, along with an increased role for area grocers and produce departments. They are calling it the “Healthy Heroes” component of the grant. Pre-schools will start distributing punch cards that entitles each child to one free fresh fruit or vegetable per month for six months at participating grocers.
Families of the pre-schoolers will have access to a P.E.P. web page that links the fruit or vegetable of the month with recipes, resources and fitness/activity ideas. Cards will be punched for all 6 months and turned in for one of five “Healthy Heroes” grocery store gift certificates in the amount of $100.00.
Five major grocers have committed to partnering with MARESA. Participating grocers include Tadych’s Econofoods, Marquette, Super One, Negaunee, Jubilee Foods, Ishpeming, Larry’s Foods, Gwinn and Family Fare Supermarket, in Munising.