By Joey McWilliams
BENNINGTON – The Bennington school district was once again listed as a Certified Healthy School.
And this year, there was extra that came along with it.
The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program is a free, voluntary statewide certification, which showcases businesses, campuses, communities, congregations, early childhood programs, restaurants, and schools that are committed to supporting healthy choices through environmental and policy change, according to the program’s website.
Lesa Curry, who works with the Bryan County Health Department and is a wellness coordinator with the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust program in Durant, said TSET had worked previously with Bennington school district to update their wellness policy and practice.
“That’s implementing physical activity and nutrition, as well as tobacco prevention on campus,” Curry said. “Of course, they already have the state-mandated 24/7 tobacco-free campus. And then we just updated their physical activity and nutrition policies, which we did in February.”
Curry said once an organization has been awarded the Certified Healthy status, it can apply for an incentive grant.
The Bennington school district this year won a grant and was awarded $3,000. More than $680,000 in grant money has given to schools in Oklahoma through the Certified Healthy program since 2013, according to the program’s site.
“It has to be used toward physical education curriculum or something that has to do with health or physical activity,” Curry said. “I believe (Bennington schools) are actually using that to expand their basketball court. We’ve had schools that used it for actual playgrounds for the children. Anything to do with the promotion of physical activity.”
Calera and Colbert school districts have previously received this grant.