September Newsletter

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TSET Newsletter

September 21, 2017

Shape Your Future and TSET Offer Easy Ways to Encourage Oklahoma Kids to be Healthier

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Childhood Obesity Month

In Oklahoma, one in three youths is overweight, obese or at an increased risk for immediate health issues like bone or joint problems and sleep apnea. Additionally, these youths are prone to long-term health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and adult obesity. Children learn healthy habits at a young age, and as role models, parents must set an example by choosing healthy foods, being physically active and drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Shape Your Future, a health education awareness campaign funded by TSET, is helping to reverse the trend in childhood obesity in Oklahoma by offering fast and affordable recipes for meals and snacks and ideas for how to be active throughout the day. On the Shape Your Future website,, you can find a variety of free tools to educate families, day cares, after school care and schools about the importance of eating healthy, staying active and being tobacco free. 

TSET Board of Directors Awards Healthy Schools and Communities Incentive Grants


The TSET Board of Directors approved 17 incentive grant awards for communities, school districts and school sites at their quarterly meeting in August.

In total, $118,500 was awarded to 5 communities, 9 school districts and 3 school sites as part of the TSET Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools Incentive Grant programs.

“We are proud to recognize communities and schools that are making the healthy choice the easy choice,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “By taking the actions recommended by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program and TSET Incentive Grant programs, these communities and schools are making meaningful changes that encourage Oklahomans to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent tobacco use and obesity before they take root. Combined with other prevention efforts, these communities and schools are working to reduce the demand on an already stressed health care system; saving lives and saving money.”

School District, Site Honored for Efforts to Promote Health

Wellston Big Checks

Pictured above from left to right: Lauren Wheeler and Sherri Ripley, Healthy Living Program Assistant Coordinators; Rep. Kevin Wallace; Dr. Tracy Fredman, Wellston Middle School/High School Principal; Letha Buater, Elementary Principal; Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager 

Wellston Public School District was honored for their efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy School District Incentive Grant program.

To receive the $3,000 incentive grant, Wellston Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff.  The district used grant funds to purchase hydration stations for the elementary and high school to encourage increased water consumption for students and staff. 

Monroe Elementary School was also honored for its efforts to improve health. The Oklahoma City elementary school received $2,000 through the TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grant Program.

Monroe Elementary was eligible for a school site grant after the Oklahoma City Public School District approved a variety of policies and strategies to improve health and wellness at their 87 sites.

Monroe Elementary used grant funds to purchase a physical activity program for use in the classroom. In 2014, the Oklahoma City Public School District was awarded a $50,000 Healthy School District Incentive Grant. 

Partnerships to Improve Health at Fort Sill

SYF Community

TSET Healthy Living Program grantees, the Comanche County Memorial Hospital and the Comanche County Health Department, have been working with community partners at Fort Sill Army Post to create a healthy environment for the military community. These partnerships helped Fort Sill become one of 14 sites to pilot the Healthy Base Initiative.

The focus of the Healthy Base Initiative was to promote a healthy and fit military force, which is essential for national security, according to the Department of Defense. This demonstration project examined select military installations’ efforts to support improved nutritional choices, increased physical activity, obesity reduction and decreased tobacco use for military members and their families.The initiative was part of Operation Live Well, a Department of Defense program that supports the National Prevention Strategy of improving Americans’ health and well-being through a prevention-oriented approach. The Healthy Base Initiative provided good data and the information was used in developing the current Building Healthy Military Communities Initiative.

Poor health outcomes, particularly obesity, is having a major impact on military recruitment. Currently only two out of every 10 high school graduates meet the physical requirements to serve. In ten years’ time, kids who are now in 4th grade will be eligible to serve. It is important that young people learn healthy habits, so they are fit to serve and protect national security. "Community partnerships are essential in creating a healthy environment for military members and their families," said Brenda Spencer Ragland, Family Morale, Welfare & Recreation Director at Fort Sill.

“A least 80% of my soldiers and their families live off the installation,” Ragland said. “We must work together to ensure a healthy community.”

Extra! Extra! Read All About SYF and TSWM!

SYF and TSWM Newsletters

Sign up for our Shape Your Future general monthly newsletter to receive family friendly ways to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. Shape Your Future also provides a bimonthly newsletter for educators that highlights free resources and classroom activities. You can sign up for both Shape Your Future newsletters here.

Stay up to date on tobacco issues in Oklahoma by signing up for our Tobacco Stops With Me newsletter to learn about opportunities for action in your community.