The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Board of Directors awarded $61,500 to school sites and school districts across Oklahoma through the TSET Healthy Incentive Grants Program at Thursday’s board meeting, and the town of Porter was included.
$15,000 was awarded to Porter Schools, with $7,500 going to Porter Consolidated Elementary School and the other $7,500 going to Porter Consolidated Junior High and High School.
Other school sites include Ravia School in Johnston County; Marietta Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Love County; and Newcastle High School in McClain County.
An additional $28,500 in funds were awarded to three school districts: the Oklahoma School for the Blind, Fairview Public Schools and Okeene Public Schools.
“These grants recognize the effort of schools that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school and habits formed early last a lifetime.”
The Healthy Incentive Grant Program focuses on strengthening policies and practices to improve school nutrition, increase physical activity, improve student wellbeing and provide tobacco-free environments for students, staff and faculty. These health-promoting practices and policies are based on national best practices and recommendations from experts.
Once schools have passed the recommended criteria, they are eligible to apply for a grant. Grant funds can be used for health-based projects chosen at the local level. Grant funds have been used for a variety of projects, including playgrounds, new cafeteria equipment, hydration stations and curriculum. Incentive grant amounts vary based on enrollment and the types of strategies implemented.
Additionally, the TSET Board voted to release a new funding opportunity and accept proposals for projects that would help encourage Oklahomans to eat healthy and be physically active. Proposals must identify immediate, impactful opportunities to improve the health of Oklahomans, target a specific area or population, be supported by multiple funding partners and agree to participate in an external evaluation process.
Applications will be open in December 2021 through March 2022. Applicants will be notified of award in May 2022 and contracts begin July 1, 2022. To receive notice when guidelines and the application are available, visit https://tset.ok.gov/content/requests-proposals.
The maximum award for the policy and built environment funding is $350,000 per year for up to two years. Successful proposals will demonstrate 1:1 match. Funds can be used for a variety of projects that to include improvements to farmers markets, sidewalks, playground equipment and signage.
Grants for innovations in active living and healthy eating will be up to $250,000 per year for two years and seek to fund projects that focus on encouraging exercise and nutrition in populations with the greatest rates of obesity. While not required, preference will be given to projects with a match.