OKLAHOMA CITY – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced Project Get Fit!, a new partnership to increase health and wellness for schoolchildren across Oklahoma with a focus on five high-need districts. The project is made possible by a $1.825 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Project Get Fit! is designed to improve student access to nutrition, increase physical education opportunities and increase access to case management services for students with chronic health conditions. The project will also help teachers with professional development and evidence-based best practices to promote healthy schools. It is the product of a partnership between the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The initiative will serve all public schools in Oklahoma with specific emphasis on five districts: Calvin, Henryetta, Morris, Okmulgee and Wilson. The emphasis will impact more than 4,000 students and almost 500 teachers in these districts, providing funds to establish outdoor open-access food pantries in the targeted communities.
“Oklahoma ranks 43rd in the United States in the health of its citizens, producing significant learning challenges for our children,” Hofmeister said. “Access to better nutrition and more opportunities for physical activity enhance brain development that is essential for reasoning and concentration.
“Oklahoma is the only state in the nation to include nutrition as an academic intervention in its strategic plan. Through Project Get Fit!, we are leveraging federal dollars to eliminate some of the health disparities that many low-income and minority students face in order to foster learning and close the achievement gap.”