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Beggs Elementary School Honored for Work to Promote Health

Beggs Elementary School received a $10,000 check Thursday as part of the Healthy Schools Incentive Grant program through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).

Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a plaque and big check to Principal Nancy McCune and Physical Education Program Grant Director Michelle Camacho at the school’s playground. The Beggs School used its TSET incentive grant to pay for playground equipment and improvements. School fundraisers and the Creek Nation also raised money for the playground.

“Our kids have enjoyed the improvements,” McCune said. “Here at BES, we love to see happy, healthy kids.”
Beggs Elementary School is the first school in the state to earn a Three Star Healthy Schools Incentive Grant.  To receive this particular TSET Healthy Schools Incentive grant, the school implemented healthy policies and adopted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health Model. 

Coordinated School Health is a systemic approach to advance student academic performance by promoting, practicing and coordinating school health education and services for the benefit and well-being of students, faculty and staff to establish healthy behaviors.  The program model has eight components:  Health Education; Physical Education; Nutrition Services; Health Services; Counseling, Psychological and Social Services; Healthy & Safe School Environment; and Parents & Community Involvement.

Camacho said Beggs Elementary is proud to be the first Three Star Healthy School in Oklahoma through the TSET grant program, and that many people contributed to the recognition.

“Our entire staff has made a dedicated effort to improve student health with many changes throughout our school,” Camacho said. “Parents have remained supportive and students have proven to be very receptive.  We could not be more proud of our school community and our partnership with the TSET programs.  With the recent funding crisis in education it is a relief to have so many great sponsors such as TSET.”

To be eligible to apply for a school incentive grant, the school district must have received a district incentive grant first.  Additionally, the school must have been recognized as a Certified Healthy School as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program.  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. Grant funds may be used for projects that advance health. 

“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.” 

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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               
Julie Bisbee, julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693

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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.