$1.16 million grant will support health education in Oklahoma

Monday, 27 September 2021 17:31

$1.16 million grant will support health education in Oklahoma Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 27, 2021) – A new $1.16 million grant over three years will help ensure expanded health instruction for pre-K through 12th grade students and provide enhanced training for health teachers in Oklahoma public schools. The initiatives are made possible by a partnership between of the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).

TSET awarded the grant to help OSDE meet the requirements of the state’s Health Education Act. Oklahoma was one of three states without health education standards until the act passed last legislative session.

“We are grateful to TSET for its commitment to support schools and teachers in ensuring children have access to effective teachers and high-quality instruction in health education, particularly at an early age when habits are formed,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “It’s vital to support the health and well-being of children who have been affected by traumatic experiences, particularly as a result of the pandemic.”

TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee said children need knowledge and support to make healthy choices that will prevent long-term health issues in the future.

“TSET applauds the efforts by State Department of Education, legislators and educators to put health education in place to help our youngest Oklahomans reach their full potential and thrive as adults,” Bisbee said. “Healthy habits learned young last a lifetime. We are proud to be a partner in this important initiative to improve the quality of life of children and improve health outcomes in our state.”

The grant will provide funding to develop a virtual professional development program, allowing educators to earn micro-credentials in health education. The funding also provides for two-day, in-person trainings for teachers across the state in 2022-23 and 2023-24. The professional learning experiences will support educators to implement the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education and best practices in teaching health skills and assessment.

In addition, the grant will develop instructional resources consisting of age-appropriate lesson ideas for all Oklahoma teachers for grades pre-K through 12.

Topics to be covered in health education include physical health, mental health, social and emotional health, and intellectual health. Additional goals of the initiatives include improving academic outcomes for all students and improving the overall health outcomes of Oklahoma’s population.




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