Health and academic success go hand in hand. And since 2010, schools and school districts in Pierce County that seek to improve the health climate for their students can get help making this connection with a Healthy Schools Grant from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.The Health Department will award up to$5,000 per year to schools and up to $10,000 per year for districts. All Pierce Countyschools and districts are eligible to apply. Multiple schools from the same school district may apply, but each school must submit a separate application. Applications are available at www.tpchd.org/healthyschools; the deadline to apply is Friday, April 10, at 4 p.m.
“Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of students and helping them to establish lifelong healthy behaviors,” said Frank DiBiase, Environmental Health division director. “We’re making the Healthy Schools Grants available to help Pierce County educators advance this mission.”
The grant program is especially focused promoting increases in physical activity, improved nutrition and preventing tobacco use because studies show these are some of the most critical areas of concern for school-aged youth.
According to the 2012 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, 27 percent of Pierce County 12th-graders were overweight or obese. The same survey indicated that 15 to 17 percent of 12th-graders had used candy-flavored tobacco products, cigarettes or hookah pipes. And preliminary results from the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey show an alarming increase in adolescent use of electronic cigarettes.
Direct questions about the Health Schools Grant Program to Linda Graves, health promotion coordinator, at lgraves or 253 798-3817.
About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to safeguard and enhance the health of the communities of Pierce County. As part of its mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.