Originally published Sept. 27, 2022 in The Pratt Tribune.
School nurses, teachers and administrators can now apply for a Healthy Habits for Life grant at bcbsks.com/ hhfl.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation is offering up to $200,000 in grants to assist schools in implementing programs that promote healthy lifestyle choices to their K-12 students.
These school-based programs must address at least one of four criteria: reduce cardiovascular risk, increase physical activity, learn healthy eating habits, and reinforce positive mental health among students. The deadline to submit an application is Oct. 21.
Since its creation in 2006, the Healthy Habits for Life grant program has awarded nearly $1.8 million through more than 1,840 grants. School personnel have used past grant dollars to educate students on healthy portion sizes, begin a daily walking program for students before or after school, invest in equipment for physical education classes, and much more.
“We really encourage school personnel to collaborate and get creative when thinking of a potential program for their school,” said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation. “The more engaged and invested the students are in the program, the more likely they are to continue the healthy habit outside of school and incorporate it into their daily life.”
School nurses, physical education, health and family and consumer science teachers, athletics directors, principals and other school administrators are encouraged to visit bcbsks.com/hhfl for a program overview, application and tip sheet.
“Poor health in students can lead to serious medical issues and effect the longterm physical and mental health as students become adults. The BCBSKS Foundation is pleased to be able to financially support schools in their efforts to reinforce the need for healthy habits that will serve children now and well into the future,” Wegener said.
Healthy Habits for Life grants are available in the service area of the BCBSKS Foundation, which includes all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. The maximum grant amount is $2,000 and grants are limited to one per school but multiple schools within a district can apply.
Applications must be received no later than Oct. 21, with the funds distributed in late December. Grant recipients may use the funds for programs offered during the 2023 calendar year. A grant application and additional information is available at bcbsks.com/hhfl.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Both entities serve all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information on the Foundation, visit bcbsks.com/foundation.