Schools, Counties Receive Grants to Improve Childrenís Health Habits

November 26, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thirty-three schools in 11 counties are the first West Virginia recipients of a $5 million Team Nutrition Training Grant being awarded to 20 states to help schoolchildren develop better eating and physical activity habits. West Virginia is slated to receive $348,537 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture program.


West Virginia will use its grant to bring on the HEATT its Healthy Eating and Activity Teams and Tactics project. HEATT will include training and support for multidisciplinary teams, including foodservice staff; school-based activities designed to empower students to make healthy choices; a parent/school newsletter; and a resource for all elementary and middle schools that will feature healthy and nutritious school parties.


Barbour, Cabell, Clay, Doddridge, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Harrison, Kanawha, Lincoln, McDowell and Mingo counties were chosen based upon proposals submitted to the West Virginia Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition.  Three schools from each county, representing elementary, middle and high school students, will each receive $4,500. 


“Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle lead to solid academic success that will continue throughout a student’s lifetime,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Building a healthy lifestyle should start at an early age at school and at home.”


Project activities will be led by trained 10-member local teams consisting of the county nutrition program director, and from each school, a school foodservice employee, educator and parent. Team training workshops, including a college class and practicum for foodservice participants, will be delivered by Piedmont Community and Technical College and the West Virginia Department of Education. The county teams will be used to bring about significant and lasting local nutrition changes and to serve as catalysts of change for other schools across the state.


For more information, contact the Office of Child Nutrition at (304) 558-2708 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


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