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Norman Public Schools Honored for Efforts to Improve Health

Norman, OK (March 4, 2019) – Norman Public Schools was honored on Monday for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy Incentive Program for Schools.

To receive the $100,000 incentive grant, Norman 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 physical education and physical activity equipment, safety & emergency response equipment, health assessment equipment, Action Based Learning Lab equipment, health education curriculum, health and wellness staff development training, and provide one time stipends for school wellness coordinators.

TSET Chairman of the Board Bruce Benjamin applauded the work being done by Norman Public Schools.

“Research shows that healthy students perform better academically,” Benjamin said. “These partnerships with schools impact students, teachers and staff and support healthy choices. The healthy choices that young people make will follow them into adulthood and improve the overall health of Oklahomans.”

TSET Interim Executive Director Julie Bisbee and Sharon Howard, program manager for the TSET Healthy Incentive Program presented a plaque and big check to Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nicholas Migliorino, Beth Roberson, Health Services Coordinator, Saeed Sarani, Grant Manager, and Members of the Board of Education. Representatives from Norman Regional Hospital and staff from the TSET Healthy Living Program serving Cleveland County were also on hand for the presentation.

Norman Public Schools is the largest school district to have achieved a TSET Healthy Incentive grant this year. The healthy policies and strategies adopted by the Norman Public Schools Board of Education will impact over 16,000 students.  

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.

 “These grants recognize the efforts of school districts and school sites that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles,” Bisbee said. “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 Cleveland County, 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 Cleveland 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                                                
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.