Hot Spots is excited to announce that our 2016-2017 21st CEG Grant Recipient, Hillcrest Elementary School, has been chosen as our Impact and Engagement Award recipient. While all our great partners were eligible to receive the award, Hillcrest Elementary exceeded expectations in the areas of grant planning and execution, alignment and execution of grant goals, engagement and impact of students, teachers, parents and community organizations and utilization of social media to educate the greater community about the importance of healthy living.

Hillcrest’s grant, “Harvesting a Healthy Hillcrest” incorporated STEAM education into a diverse array of additional core subjects, and addressed one or more Baltimore County Public School 21st Century Themes. The opportunities provided by the grant assisted the school in integrating their rigorous science curriculum into other areas, such as English, Language Arts, Math and Health. This opportunity provided students with an introduction to the STEAM skills necessary in today’s competitive society, which can ultimately help them to become better problem solvers, able to face future global challenges.

The culminating event of Hillcrest’s grant experience was the school’s Wellness Night, where students used measurement and label reading to make healthy food-buying decisions in a simulated market. Hillcrest’s Farm to Table Education Program also encouraged multi-subject learning and integration through a healthy recipe contest, which required students to use measurement, composition and healthy plate knowledge to come up with a unique recipe.

This grant opportunity has allowed Hillcrest Elementary to serve more children and school communities in Baltimore County Public Schools with high quality hands-on collaborative events, in line with the Baltimore County Public School 21st Century Theme. Some of these events included educational assemblies, workshops and other educational activities. Of note was their Wellness Night in March, Salad Day in May and the opportunity for each class at Hillcrest to plant and harvest their very own fruit and vegetable crop.

Facilitated by Hillcrest’s PTA Environmental Committee, Wellness Committee and the Environmental Action Team, these events helped to instill everyday habits that are both environmentally sound and promote a healthy lifestyle for students and staff alike. Hillcrest Elementary has prided itself on being a Green School, and through this grant—and the events it affords them—they can continue to maintain their status.

As we recognize and congratulate Hillcrest Elementary for their achievements, Hot Spots is also excited to announce that the 2017-2018 Grant Recipients are to be announced in the coming weeks. Visit Hot Spots’ website on November 1st to see which schools are the next Grant Recipients.