Tushka, OK (October 30, 2017) – Tushka Public School District and both the elementary and high schools were honored Monday for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy School District and Healthy Schools Incentive Grant program.
To receive the $3,000 district incentive grant, Tushka Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff. Both schools received Certified Healthy Oklahoma school status through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program at the excellence level and became eligible for school site grants.
Tushka Elementary and Tushka High School both received $1,500 in TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grants. The district and schools are using the funds for playground improvements.
Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a plaque and big check to Tushka Superintendent Matt Simpson, and certificates of achievement to principals Jeff Graham and Paul Weaver. TSET Healthy Living Program coordinators from the Atoka County Health Department were also on hand for the presentation.
The 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).
The Healthy School Incentive Grant criteria is based on the school implementing the health and wellness policies passed by the district and working collaboratively to promote health for the entire school community. Schools are required to complete modules or behaviors from the CDC’s School Health Index and submit action plans on how they are working to improve health and wellness in the school environment.
“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.”
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 Atoka and Coal counties work to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity by partnering with schools, community organizations, worksites, and local governments to promote healthy choices. The Healthy Living Program staff collaborate with community champions across all sectors in order to make Atoka and Coal Counties a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play.
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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Julie Bisbee, email@example.com
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.