LSMSA- On Thursday, Dec. 13, the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) Foundation gifted $2,777.48 toward wellness initiatives at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA). The grant was received by the LSMSA Foundation.
The LSMSA Foundation, a non-profit extension of LSMSA, works to provide support to the school by offering enrichment opportunities, necessary equipment, and resources that will enhance classroom instruction.
The funding from the NRMC Foundation will complete necessary inventory in the school’s Fitness Center and will be used to purchase a glute/hamstring machine, a Stairmaster and weight plates. The grant will also be used to add blood pressure cuffs to the center’s nurse’s station and hand sanitizer stations around campus.
Tom Matuschka, vice president of business development and philanthropy at NRMC, says that funding was provided to LSMSA because the school’s proposed project went hand-in-hand with the NRMC Foundation’s overall objective.
“The NRMC Foundation chose to support LSMSA’s project because it fits right with our mission to improve the health and wellness of our community,” stated Matuschka, “and LSMSA is a core pillar of our community. We have a history of foundational support to the school, making this the fourth time we have granted funding to LSMSA.”
As an alum of the Class of 1990 and father of a recent LSMSA graduate, Matuschka has confidence that the money will be put to good use.
“I was not a voting member, and while I recused myself, I was happy to help curate the process, bring the application through the system, and get it in front of our board, who enthusiastically approved funding for the project.”
Jacob Spielbauer, senior lecturer and coordinator of the Health and Physical Education Program at LSMSA, has been overseeing the Fitness Center at the school and believes it can improve the well-being of students and faculty alike.
“We would just like to thank the NRMC board for the grant,” said Spielbauer. “It will truly help increase our resources,increase our students’, faculty and staff’s awareness towards physical activity and fitness and give our students more opportunities in the Fitness Center at LSMSA.”
The Fitness Center was established to encourage healthy habits in students while also providing them alternative coping skills for their often strenuous course-loads.
“Evidence shows that incorporating physical fitness can increase academic performance,” expressed Spielbauer. “The more alert we are, the better we perform in and out of the classroom.”
Physical education courses at LSMSA include yoga, boxing, and weight training as well as other traditional physical education courses. The Fitness Center is open and free to all students who attend the school.