Madison Hickes, a senior at Cumberland County High School, will represent the county at the state Poetry Out Loud state finals March 14-15.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Hickes will compete for $1,200 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national trials at the end of April.

The Cumberland County Board of Education approved the student's attendance at the event during its Feb. 27 meeting.

The board also approved a student challenge at Stone Memorial High School utilizing a $3,000 grant from United Healthcare.

Marcela St. Onge, SMHS chemistry teacher, has proposed using the funds to offer a team fitness challenge. Students will meet after school three days a week to perform a fitness routine. Team members will be eliminated according to the team member who loses the lowest amount of body fat that week, with the contest stretching over eight weeks.

The student who loses the greatest percentage of body weight will take first place. There will also be prizes for every participant who continues with the program throughout the eight weeks, even if they were earlier eliminated.

The group will host speakers who are experts in fitness and nutrition. The grant funds will go towards fitness videos and assorted prizes.

St. Onge also proposes a similar, but separate, competition for teachers at SMHS.

The Cumberland County middle school softball team will host a 5K race at the Cumberland County Community Complex March 15. Cost is $20 per runner for the Race to the End of the Rainbow 5K. Race begins at 9 a.m. Pre-registration was to be post-marked by March 1, but race-day registration will be available. Funds raised will go towards equipment, uniforms and referee costs for the girls middle school softball team.

In other business, the board approved the following:

•Disposal of surplus property from the school nutrition program, Phoenix School and Stone Elementary School.

•Approved the following school volunteers — Rhonda Kemmer at Crab Orchard Elementary; Barbara Wehyrich at Homestead Elementary; Michelle Dobson at Martin Elementary; Tammie Triplett as a FCCLA volunteer at Martin Elementary; Charles (Chuck) Floyd Burgess, Sharon Lewis, Kelly Ann Goss, Damian Matthew Smith and Jennifer Susanne Young at South Cumberland Elementary; Joey and Wilma Daniels, Karen DeBruyn, William "Bill" DeBruyn, Lori Drescher, Amy Hester, Jennifer Kriby, Tim Lewis, Elizabeth Petty, James Petty, Jane Roberts, Samantha Hamlet, Leigh Ann Soden and Carolyn Ward with the gifted program.

•Added Brigestone Arena, L.P. Field and Titans Learning Lab to the list of approved venues for school field trips.

•Overnight trips for the Cumberland County High School softball team March 14-15 to Hendersonville, TN, and April 4-5 to Ooltewah, TN.

•Overnight field trip to Pigeon Forge for Pleasant Hill Elementary girls basketball, boys basketball and cheerleading squads May 14-15.

•Overnight field trip March 30-April 2 for seven students to attend the 67th annual Tennessee 4-H Congress in Nashville.

•Contract with SchoolinSites web hosting service.

•Contract with Lifetouch National Studios for 2014-'15 school year at CCHS, Stone Memorial High School.

•World's Finest Chocolate/Yankee Candle school-wide fundraiser to raise money for instructional supplies and updated technology resources.