The TSET Board of Directors have approved incentive grants for schools that have passed policies to help students learn healthy habits early and promote health for students, teachers and staff through the TSET Healthy Incentive Program.

TSET funds were awarded to 21 school districts and two school sites. There was one Pottawatomie County district among the recipients — South Rock Creek school, which was awarded $13,500. In Seminole County, Varnum and Sasakwa each will receive $15,000.

In Lincoln County, Carney and White Rock School will each receive $15,000 and the Wellston district will get $17,000.

The awards are part of a comprehensive effort to prevent and reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma — heart disease, stroke and cancer by preventing unhealthy behaviors before they take root.

The TSET Healthy Incentive Program for schools works to prevent and reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma — heart disease, stroke and cancer by preventing unhealthy behaviors before they take root.

Grants are awarded to districts and schools that have implemented key strategies aimed at creating an environment that encourages students, faculty and staff to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. District and schools choose how grant funds will be used on projects that promote healthy behaviors or physical activity.

All public school districts that meet grant criteria are eligible to apply for a TSET Healthy Incentive Grant. School districts must successfully adopt health promoting policies before individual schools sites are eligible to apply.

Policy requirements for the TSET healthy incentive grants include a comprehensive tobacco-free policy that prohibits smoking, vaping and using smokeless tobacco on school grounds and a wellness policy that improves the nutrition environment, increases physical activity and promotes employee wellness. Research shows that healthy behaviors established during childhood carry through to adulthood.

“We are proud to recognize school districts that have made the healthy choice the easy choice,” TSET Interim Executive Director Julie Bisbee said. “By promoting and supporting healthy behaviors, school districts are encouraging students and staff to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent tobacco use and obesity before they take root. These small changes add up and create an environment where healthy choices become the norm.”