KeepHealthCare.ORG – Trousdale schools included in grant to combat childhood obesity
By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor
Trousdale County is one of 10 school districts that will receive grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address childhood obesity and chronic diseases.
The Tennessee Department of Education announced Monday morning that the state had received $4.3 million in funding to support the implementation of evidence-based strategies and activities to prevent childhood obesity, reduce the risk of children and adolescents developing chronic disease in adulthood, and help manage chronic health conditions prevalent in Tennessee students.
Ten of Tennessee’s school districts were identified as priorities: Trousdale County, Crockett County, Lauderdale County, Weakley County, Maury County, Wayne County, Rutherford County, Monroe County, Grainger County and Hawkins County.
“We know that a student’s health and academic performance are closely linked, so we are excited to provide more of our students the opportunity to continue to grow and learn while benefitting their physical health,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen in a press statement. “These grants will allow us to provide resources to our districts and schools to further the well-being of all Tennessee children.”
It is not yet known how these funds will be utilized locally, or what percentage of the $4.3 million will come to Trousdale.
“The 5-year grant encompasses participation in several on-going surveys, support, and strengthening of the local health council, implementing strategies and programs associated with physical education, nutrition, and chronic health conditions,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.
Research shows that children who eat more nutritious meals and are more physically active perform better in the classroom. However, in Tennessee, more than 39 percent of school-aged children are overweight or obese and Tennessee currently has the highest childhood obesity rate in the nation.
Efforts supported by this grant are designed to help provide students education on proper nutrition, physical activity and management of chronic health conditions, so students can establish healthy behaviors that could reduce the rate of overweight and obesity, reduce the risk for future chronic diseases and improve academic performance in schools.
The efforts supported by the grants will focus on three strategies:
1. Infrastructure development: strategies and best practices to increase awareness and promote evidence-based policies on school-based health education, physical education/physical activity, healthy eating, and management of chronic health conditions.
2. Professional development and training: opportunities on establishing systems for the management and support of students with chronic health conditions.
3. Technical assistance: through a partnership with the Department of Health, statewide and district technical assistance through professional development and training, on-site visits, online learning, and additional methods as needed.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected] Contributing: Staff reports