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Hugo Public Schools Honored for Work to Promote Health

Hugo, OK  (January 20, 2017) –The Hugo Public School district was honored Friday during the Southeast Oklahoma Community Champion Luncheon for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy School District Incentive Grant program.

To receive the $5,000 incentive grant, Hugo Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff.  The district will use grant funds to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s), Health Education Curriculum and Safety Kits.

Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a plaque and big check to Superintendent Earl Dalke.  Rep. Justin Humphrey was also on hand for the presentation as well as staff from the County Health Department and the TSET Healthy Living Program serving Choctaw County.  

TSET’s Healthy School District Incentive Grant criteria focus on strengthening district wellness policies to improve school nutrition, increase physical activity, student wellbeing and provide tobacco-free environments for students, staff, faculty and families.  These health-promoting practices and policies are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 “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 John Woods. “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 enrollment and strategies implemented. Grant funds may be used for projects that advance health. TSET offers incentive grants to school districts that have schools sites 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.

The TSET Healthy Living Program serving Choctaw County through the County Health Department works to prevent and reduce obesity and tobacco use in schools, community organizations, worksites, and local governments. Staff collaborate with community champions across all sectors and throughout the county in order to make Choctaw County a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play. Hugo Public Schools and their investment in health is an integral part of Choctaw County becoming a healthier county.

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.