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Adair and Sequoyah County School Districts Honored for Efforts to Improve Health

Sallisaw, OK (April 5, 2019) – Four Adair County and two Sequoyah County Public School Districts were honored on Friday for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy Incentive Program for schools.

The 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). Incentive grant funds must be used for projects or programs to improve health. The districts being recognized for their efforts include:

Stilwell Public School District was awarded $20,000 and has chosen to use the funds for playground equipment and improvement. Stilwell had been previously awarded a $5,000 grant in 2016.

Rocky Mountain Public School District was awarded $15,000 and has chosen to use the funds for playground equipment and improvement.

Westville Public School District was awarded $25,000 and has chosen to use the funds for playground equipment and improvement, walking track improvements, safe street improvements, cafeteria equipment, archery equipment and staff development training in CPR & First Aid.

Maryetta Public School District was awarded $18,000 and has chosen to use the funds for playground improvement, activity stations for their walking trail, and outdoor activities for life sports equipment. Maryetta had previously been awarded a $2,000 grant in January, 2018.

Brushy Public School District was awarded $13,500 and has chosen to use the funds for an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), health assessment equipment, playground and PE equipment, nutrition education, and staff development training on integrating physical activity throughout the school day.  Brushy had been previously awarded a $1,500 grant in 2016.

Moffett Public School District was awarded $13,500 and has chosen to use the funds for an AED, CPR Equipment, health assessment equipment, playground and PE equipment, archery equipment, nutrition education, staff development training and parent education. Moffett had been previously awarded a $1,500 grant in 2016.

Sharon Howard, TSET healthy incentive program manager for schools, presented a plaque and big checks to the District Superintendents or Representatives at a Tri-County Superintendent meeting. Representatives from the Cherokee Nation TSET Healthy Living Program serving Adair County as well as representatives from People, Inc. TSET Healthy Living program serving Sequoyah County were also on hand for the presentation.

“These grants recognize the efforts of school districts and school sites that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles,” said TSET Director Julie Bisbee. “Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school 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 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 their respective counties a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play.

Funds for the TSET Healthy Incentive Program are limited and all available funds have been exhausted for this fiscal year. Grant applications will not be accepted for the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The grant program is expected to re-open for the next fiscal year.

The TSET Board of Directors has awarded grants to 54 school districts and school sites and 33 communities. Over $1.9 million in grants have been provided to promote partnerships at the local level to improve health and promote healthy behaviors in schools and communities.

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                                                
Whitney Dinger, whitneyd@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4959
Cell: 405-227-0488

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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.