TALK OF THE TOWN: Free money is available for your school!

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There's a chance for our local schools to get free money to go toward students being healthier.

Erika Kirby is Executive Director of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation.

"It is well established that healthier children tend to have better grades, are more attentive in class and have fewer absences," Kirby said.

To better support South Carolina schools in creating healthier school environments, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is announcing its Wellness Inspired School Environment (WISE) gr ants.

These are open to all public and private nonprofit schools in South Carolina serving grades K-12. One application from each school will be considered.

The Foundation is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG) and its Healthy Schools Program framework, which has been endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This framework develops and monitors progress toward a wellness action plan. Applicants can use the funds to implement activities from these wellness action plans.

Schools can apply for gr ants ranging from $2,000 – $8,000 to support items based on the six evidence-based AHG modules:

  • School Health and Safety Policies and Environment
  • Health Education
  • Physical Education and Other Physical Activity Programs
  • Nutrition Services
  • Health Promotion for Staff
  • Family and Community Involvement

"Schools often want to do more to improve student well-being, but may not have the resources to do so," Kirby said. "We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice, so we are supporting healthy school environments, which encourage and promote physical activity and healthy eating. This supports our long-term goal of improving the health and well-being of South Carolina's children."

Schools are a natural channel to encourage and foster this behavior because children spend more time at school than any other place outside of the home.
Applications are now being accepted and schools can learn more by visiting https://www.bcbsscfoundation.org/wisegrants.aspx. Schools can also email questions to info.foundation@bcbssc.com.

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