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Grants for health improvement strategies available to schools

April 18, 2016

Program supports physical activity and healthy choices for Pierce County students

Pierce County schools eligible for thousands of dollars from Healthy Youth Grant. Health Department now accepting applications.

TACOMA, Wash. –If your school wants to tackle some of the health issues you see among students, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department can help.

For the sixth year, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will offer Healthy Youth Grants to all schools—up to $5,000 for schools and up to $10,000 for school districts. It’s part of the Health Department’s effort to promote better health and improved academic success.

Our local youth face some significant health threats. Obesity and tobacco use are two of the worst offenders. According to the 2014 State Healthy Youth Survey, 29% of Pierce County 12th grade students were overweight and obese because of too few and too many calories consumed. When it comes to tobacco use, 23% of Pierce County 12th graders used e-cigarettes, 11% used candy flavored tobacco products, 12% smoked cigarettes, and 10% used hookah.

“Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of students and helping them to establish lifelong healthy behaviors,” said Linda Graves, school health specialist with the Health Department’s Physical Nutrition, Activity, and Tobacco program. Graves said. “We’re pleased to offer grants so schools can implement strategies that can improve student health—and their academic success.”

Multiple schools from the same school district may apply for the grants, but each school must submit a separate application. Applications are available at tpchd.org/healthyschools. The deadline to submit applications for the 2016-2018 school year is 4 p.m. Friday, May 6, 2016. The Health Department will give priority to applicants working with underserved student populations, which include those eligible for the free and reduced meal program, ethnically diverse students, and rural communities.

If you have questions about the Healthy Youth Grant program, contact Graves at (253) 686-3716 or lgraves@tpchd.org.

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