Louisiana Receives Federal Grant to Improve Student Health
Louisiana has been selected to receive a federal grant to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity and the management of students’ chronic health conditions, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant, which is valued at $350,000 a year for five years, will benefit statewide student health initiatives, as well as targeted initiatives in six select school systems.
“We are thrilled Louisiana has been selected as a recipient of this federal grant,” said State Superintendent John White. “The funding will help our schools increase the number of students who consume nutritious food and beverages, who participate in daily physical education and activity, and who can effectively manage their chronic health conditions.” This is including but not limited to poor oral health, asthma, food allergies, and diabetes.
The state education and health departments will partner with public elementary, middle and high schools systems in Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, St. Landry and Tangipahoa parishes, as well as the City of Monroe. These school systems were selected based on need following a statewide evaluation of school environments and parish-wide health data.
The $350,000 grant allocation for the 2018-2019 school year was awarded to the state on June 30, 2018, and the state will provide each selected school system with $8,000 to $10,000. This will continue each year of the five-year grant.
“Schools play a critical role in helping students establish lifelong healthy behaviors,” said Director of Well-Ahead Louisiana, Melissa Martin. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Department of Education to ensure all students have the opportunity to be healthy and successful!”
Did You Know?
- Louisiana ranks 19th in the nation for obesity among adolescents 10-17 years old and 34th for obesity among children 2-4 years old.
According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 4 out of 5 Louisiana high school students fail to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity per day. In addition, 1 out of 2 Louisiana high school students fail to eat fruit or vegetables one or more times per day.
This grant will support approximately 278 schools and 146,461 students in healthy eating, physical activity, and effective management of chronic health conditions can help improve academic achievement.
MOVING LOUISIANA’S HEALTH FORWARD
Are you interested in supporting a healthier school nutrition environment? There are many ways you can help! Parents, families, and students can advocate for and participate in health and wellness improvements in district and schools. District and school leaders and administrators can focus resources on implementation of policies, processes, and practices to improve student health and wellness and support the whole child. Community partners can collaborate with Well-Ahead to support whole child efforts within district and schools.