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Making Healthy Choices the WISE Choice

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In 2018, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation launched the Wellness Inspired School Environments (WISE) grant program.

Using Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program framework, the Foundation offers grants ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 to all public and private, nonprofit K-12 schools in South Carolina. These grants can be used to support projects based on the six Alliance for a Healthier Generation modules: Policy and Environment, Nutrition Services, Smart Snacks, Health and Physical Education, Physical Activity and Employee Wellness.

According to FitnessGram data released in 2018, only 51 percent of South Carolina students scored in the Healthy Fitness Zone for cardiorespiratory fitness. Just 59 percent of students scored in the Healthy Fitness Zone for upper body strength. We know physical activity can improve bone health, muscular fitness, and heart and lung health. It also reduces symptoms of depression and improves cognitive skills. Science also shows us that good nutrition is important for growth and development of children. 

Healthier children tend to have better grades and pay better attention in schools. Children spend more time at school than any other place outside the home. So doesn’t it make sense to ensure these environments have the resources to support kid’s health?

To date, more than 50 schools across the state have received WISE grants from the Foundation. Awarded schools are building walking tracks, offering healthy snack options to students through mobile markets and finding creative ways to get students moving in the classroom. Schools can continue to apply for this opportunity through June 30, 2019. Read more about the WISE grant to see how your school can apply!