CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education has received grants of about $316,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to alleviate childhood obesity and promote physical activity among West Virginia schoolchildren.
West Virginia was selected to receive a $268,064 competitive grant based on its program offerings and a $48,304 noncompetitive grant based on its plan to increase participation in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.
"Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle lead to solid academic success that will continue throughout a student’s lifetime,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “The grants will help our schools help children develop lifelong healthy eating habits at an early age.”
The money will be used to provide training and technical assistance to school food service staff in making school meals healthier, including incorporating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. The grants, which are a key component of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, also will be used to teach children to make healthy food and lifestyle choices in an effort to end childhood obesity within a generation.
"If we want to build a strong economy and win the future, then we also need to win the race to educate our kids,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “And that means making sure that the 32 million kids who eat school lunches every day are fueled by nutritious food and healthy habits.”
For more information, contact the Office of Child Nutrition at (304) 558-2708 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
--The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.,” West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.