The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated $50,000 to help three public elementary schools in San Leandro develop playground programs to promote student health and exercise.
Coca-Cola has a bottling plant in San Leandro that employs about 400 people.
“Our Foundation’s priority is to build thriving, sustainable communities in each area where we operate,” said Dora Wong, public affairs director for Coca-Cola Refreshments.
The grant made Thursday will be channeled through the San Leandro Education Foundation (SLED) and will benefit students at Wilson, McKinley and Jefferson elementary schools.
SLED President Deborah Cox said the gift will help expand recess actitives at San Leandro public schools and boost the SLED's health and safety initiatives.
The grant will be administered by Playworks, a nonprofit that helps schools with a high concentration of low-income students.
“It's important for our students to form healthy habits at an early age," said Wendy Ponder, principal of Wilson Elementary School. "Playworks will help engage students in organized play at recess, increasing their opportunities for movement.”
San Leandro schools can use the help. A recent study found that students here were among the chunkiest kids in Alameda County.
Playworks will begin operating at the school sites starting in August of the 2013 to 2014 school year. While the Coca-Cola grant will fund the bulk of the cost, SLED says it will still need another $18,000 to fully implement the program.
SLED has pledged to match every dollar donated by the community toward full implementation at these three schools. To donate, visit www.sledfund.org.