Wellston, OK (August 17, 2017) – Wellston Public School District was honored on Thursday for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy School District Incentive Grant program.
To receive the $3,000 incentive grant, Wellston 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 a hydration stations to encourage increased water consumption for students and staff.
Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a plaque and big check to Wellston Public Schools officials. Rep. Kevin Wallace of Wellston and TSET Healthy Living Program coordinators from the Lincoln 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).
“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 works to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity by partnering with schools, community organizations, worksites, and local governments to promote healthy choices. TSET Healthy Living Program coordinators from the Lincoln County Health Department collaborate with community champions across all sectors and throughout the county in order to make Lincoln County 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.
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.