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Okarche Schools Honored for Efforts to Improve Health

Okarche, OK (April 13, 2018) – The Okarche School District was honored Friday by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) for efforts to improve the health of students, faculty and staff.

Okarche Public Schools was awarded a $2,000 grant from TSET as part of the Healthy School District Incentive Grant Program. To receive the grant, Okarche Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness. The district will use grant funds for a walking track as part of a larger project and will be open to the public for physical activity outside of the school day. Grant awards are based on student enrollment and may be used for projects that advance health. Okarche Public Schools was also a recipient of a $1,000 TSET grant in 2013. 

TSET Executive Director John Woods and Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools program manager, presented a plaque to Okarche Superintendent Rob Friesen, and Ann Hufnagel, elementary librarian and grant writer. TSET Healthy Living Program coordinators from the Kingfisher 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.” 

The TSET Healthy Living Program serving Blaine and Kingfisher 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 Blaine and Kingfisher 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.

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.