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BlueCross BlueShield offers school grants for kids’ health

The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is launching a grant program designed to help schools keep students healthier.

The Wellness Inspired School Environment (WISE) grants are open to all public and private nonprofit schools in South Carolina serving grades K-12.

“Schools do such a tremendous amount to raise and educate our next generation,” said Foundation Executive Director Erika Kirby. “They often want to do more to improve student well-being, but may not have the resources to do so.

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 grants 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

“Healthy students learn better,” Kirby said. “It establishes positive behaviors that go with these students for the rest of their lives.”

Kirby said the application process for schools is designed to be flexible and user-friendly, allowing each school to figure out its own needs.

“The health and nutrition of South Carolina’s students has a strong impact on their success in the classroom and throughout their lives,” said South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman. “I applaud the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for recognizing this correlation and bringing additional wellness opportunities to schools in our state. I look forward to working with the Foundation and other community partners to ensure that every South Carolina student is healthy and ready to learn.”

Applications are now being accepted and schools can learn more by visiting the Foundation website. Schools can also email questions to info.foundation@bcbssc.com.


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