Teacher's dedication earns school $30k in cash, new sporting equipment

Sara Williams' efforts in the Find Your Balance Challenge won her school, Barry Elementary, $30k in cash and sporting equipment.

Sara Williams, a fifth grade teacher at Barry Elementary School in Clovis, N.M., was named the 2014 grand prize winner for launching a wellness program for the school's fifth grade students, and earned her school $30,000 in cash and new sporting equipment.

Her wellness program was a part of the Find Your Balance Challenge, a program designed to reward student teams for taking steps toward achieving energy balance in their school communities.

Williams' program, which saw 100 percent participation among the school's fifth grade students, emphasizes the importance of balancing energy in with energy out. Volunteers from the U.S. Air Force underscored the importance of physical activity and conducted mock physical training tests.

To track their activity, students participated in a daily "mile marker" exercise initiative.

Additionally, students were offered a nutritious breakfast each morning.

A Title I School, Barry Elementary was able to create a "backpack program" designed to send qualifying students home with weekend snacks and meals.

In recognition of this massive effort, Discover Education and Good Sports will award the deserving Barry Elementary with $30,000 in cash and new sporting equipment. The school will also receive an Ultimate Energy Balance School Assembly, and Williams will receive a 5-night stay in a two bedroom suite provided by Wyndham Extra Holidays.

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) and Discovery Education was a joint initiative aimed at addressing the childhood obesity epidemic by encouraging educators, students and families to live active, healthy lives. As part of this year's incentive programs, more than $200,000 in prizes will be awarded to deserving schools across the nation in an effort to extend the reach of health and wellness programs both in and out of school.