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TSET Board Approved Incentive Grants for Eight School Districts

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 12, 2014)– The Board of Directors for the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust on Thursday awarded incentive grants to eight school districts that have implemented strategies to promote health and wellness for students and staff.

The board approved a total of $93,500 in incentive grants to the following school districts: Central High (Stephens County); Colbert (Bryan County); Deer Creek (Oklahoma County); Jenks (Tulsa County); Milburn (Johnston County); Oklahoma City (Oklahoma County); Ravia (Johnston County) and Soper (Choctaw County).

This is the second round of grants the TSET Board of Directors have awarded to schools and school districts this year. The grants and supporting wellness policies have impact more than 123,000 students across Oklahoma since the grant program began in 2013.

TSET offers incentive grants to school districts that have been recognized as Certified Healthy Schools as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program and 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.

Incentive grants for school districts are based on district enrollment and strategies implemented. Grant funds may be used for projects that advance health.

The Healthy Schools Incentive Grant criteria focus on schools strengthening and approving local tobacco-free policies. Tobacco-free policies, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, are a prerequisite for the grants. Districts are required to adopt health-promoting policies and programs that focus on nutrition and physical activity.

“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. 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.

District Enrollment County Amount Project
Central High 431 Stephens $3,000 Walking Track
Colbert 899 Bryan $3,000 Playground Equipment
Deer Creek 5,016 Oklahoma $20,000 Mental Health Curriculum
Jenks 11,742 Tulsa $10,000 Staff Training: Action-based learning equipment
Milburn 203 Johnston $3,000 Physical Education Equipment
Oklahoma City 40,000 Oklahoma  $50,000 Physical Education Curriculum; PE equipment; nutrition curriculum
Ravia 98 Johnston $1,500 Water Fountain; Kitchen Utensils; Playground Equipment
Soper 987 Choctaw $3,000 Ice Machine

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 with local coalitions and initiatives 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.