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Battiest Public Schools Honored For Work To Promote Health

BATTIEST, OK  (May 17, 2016) – The Battiest Public School district was presented with a $3,000 check Tuesday as part of the Healthy School District Incentive Grant program through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).

Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a plaque and big check to Superintendent Stace Ebert, High School Principal Don Mullenix, Healthy Living Program Director Amber Kent and Healthy Living Program Coordinator Shalan Prince. 

To receive the incentive grant, Battiest Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff.  The district has chosen to use the grant funds to purchase equipment for increasing physical fitness and will locate the equipment in the district weight room.

The Healthy School District Incentive Grant criteria focus on strengthening district wellness policies to improve school nutrition, increase physical activity, and provide tobacco-free environments for students, staff, faculty and families.  These health-promoting practices and policies are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health Model.

Amber Kent, Director for the McCurtain County Healthy Living Program (HLP) said the HLP is currently partnering with schools in McCurtain County to improve policy when it comes to physical activity, access to nutritious foods and snacks, and tobacco prevention to develop a healthy environment where children learn and play. The Healthy Living Program is based out of the McCurtain County Health Department.

“Thanks to the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program, and TSET’s Healthy Living Program, school leaders are taking a proactive approach to improving the overall wellness of students and staff, and the environment in which they learn, work, and play,” Kent said.

“These grants recognize the efforts of schools and school districts that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles. Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school,” said TSET Executive Director Tracey Strader. “Habits formed early last a lifetime and we want to recognize schools that are making the healthy choice the easy choice for students, staff and the community.” Incentive grants for school districts are based on district enrollment and strategies implemented. Grant funds may be used for projects that advance health. TSET offers incentive grants to school districts that have schools in their district that have been recognized as a Certified Healthy Schools as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program and have met TSET incentive grant criteria. Certified Healthy Oklahoma is a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

TSET was created by a constitutional amendment in 2000 as a long term strategy to improve health and ensure settlement payments from a 1998 multi-state lawsuit against the tobacco industry are used to improve the health of all Oklahomans. The funds are placed in an endowment to ensure a growing funding source for generations to come. Only the earnings from the endowment are used to fund grants and programs.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               
Julie Bisbee, julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693
               
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health.
TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.