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Monroe Elementary Honored for Efforts to Improve Health

Oklahoma City, OK (August 17, 2017) – Monroe Elementary was honored Thursday for its efforts to improve health for students, teachers and staff. The Oklahoma City elementary school received $2,000 through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust’s Healthy Schools Incentive Grant Program.

Monroe Elementary was eligible for a school site grant after the Oklahoma City Public School District approved a variety of policies and strategies to improve health and wellness at their 87 sites.

Monroe Elementary achieved Certified Healthy Oklahoma status and became eligible for a school site grant. Monroe Elementary will use their grant funds to purchase a physical activity program for use in the classroom. In 2014, the Oklahoma City Public School District was awarded a $50,000 Healthy School District Incentive Grant. 

To receive the grant, the district adopted health promoting policies including a 24/7 tobacco -free policy, updated the wellness policy to improve the nutritional environment and increase physical activity.  The District used the funds to purchase PE & Health Education Curriculum and PE Equipment for the elementary school sites.

“These grants recognize the efforts of schools that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles. Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “These grants encourage schools to pass policies that promote health, and provide resources for health promoting programs and projects that make movement and healthy living a part of the school day.”

Woods and Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager, presented a certificate of achievement to school principal, Eric Meador and the physical education teacher and grant writer, Shannon Buck.

“The health of our students, teachers and staff is vital to creating healthy schools,” said Superintendent Aurora Lora. “We appreciate the partnership with TSET in helping to create a healthier future for our students.”

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 One Star 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 two modules or behaviors from the CDS’s, School Health Index and submit action plans on how they are working to improve health and wellness in the school environment.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department, a TSET Healthy Living Program grantee, works to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity by partnering with schools, community organizations, worksites, and local governments to promote healthy choices. Healthy Living Program staff collaborate with community champions across all sectors and throughout the county in order to make Oklahoma 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.

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.