New grant funding helps promote #HealthiestNextGen healthy eating and physical activity efforts in Washington schools

April 15, 2016

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OLYMPIA - A $5 million Healthy Kids-Healthy Schools grant approved by the state Legislature will help 466 schools from 93 districts promote healthy meals, physical activity and water consumption.

The grant program is administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. It aligns with Gov. Jay Inslee’s Healthiest Next Generation Initiative, which seeks to create the healthiest next generation of Washingtonians by promoting healthy schools, early learning centers and communities.

“Student health and student learning go hand-in-hand. This grant program was a key outcome of our state’s incredible partnership with organizations, schools, families and businesses across the state as well as bipartisan leadership from Reps. Eileen Cody, Marcus Riccelli and Paul Harris,” Inslee said. “The more we can promote healthy food and fun ways to get active, the more likely our children are to be healthy and ready to learn. Kids today are experiencing record high levels of obesity, diabetes and asthma. These are small but important investments in turning that trend around.”

“I want to congratulate every school that applied for the grant,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “We were very pleased with the number of applications. It shows across the state the huge need and interest in student health. The grant will have direct benefits to students: better access to water during the day, equipment that will allow staff to cook with fresh fruits and vegetables, and will provide safer playground equipment to promote active and healthy kids, to name a few. We all have a responsibility to help create the healthiest next generation. I thank the Legislature for providing the funding so that we can take an important step toward that goal and encourage a well-rounded education of the whole child.”

Grant funding was available in three categories: nutrition (kitchens, cafeterias, gardens and greenhouses), physical education and physical activity (indoor and outdoor equipment, covered play structures and playground equipment) and water bottle filling stations. OSPI received more than $17 million in requests from 150 school districts.

A complete list of schools and districts receiving funding is available here: http://www.k12.wa.us/SchFacilities/HealthyKids-HealthySchools/

The governor launched the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative in September 2014. The initiative brings together families, schools, businesses and organizations across the state like the PTA, REI, Seahawks, YMCA, and Boys & Girls Clubs to turn around trends such as child obesity and make Washington’s next generation the healthiest one ever.

Share how you are creating the healthiest next generation by joining us on Twitter at #HealthiestNextGen.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136