Foundation Announces First Cohort for the Healthy Schools Initiative

The Mary Black Foundation recently announced a four-year Healthy Schools Initiative that will begin this coming fall. Nine Spartanburg County schools were selected to participate in this Initiative, which seeks to create healthier school environments using the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program. According to the National School Boards Association, “Research shows that when school districts and schools have effective policies and practices that support the health of their students and staff, student and staff absenteeism decreases, student concentration improves, student behavior problems are reduced, and children and adolescents establish lifelong health promoting behaviors.” Additionally, a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the more that schools engaged with the Healthy Schools Program, the greater reductions they saw in their obesity rates.

The Foundation is excited to partner with the following nine schools on this new Healthy Schools Initiative:

  • Spartanburg School District 1:
    • Campobello Gramling School
    • O.P. Earle Elementary School
  • Spartanburg School District 2:
    • Boiling Springs Intermediate School
    • Oakland Elementary School
  • Spartanburg School District 3:
    • Clifdale Elementary School
  • Spartanburg School District 6:
    • Arcadia Elementary School
    • Lone Oak Elementary School
    • R.P. Dawkins Middle School
    • Woodland Heights Elementary School

Over the period of four years, the cohort of nine schools will create a wellness council, designate a wellness coordinator, and receive training and technical assistance from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Partners for Active Living to implement specific best practices that fall in one of six components that address school health. They will also have regular opportunities for networking and learning, and they will receive financial support for implementation. Each school is eligible to receive up to $86,000 over the period of four years.

The Foundation looks forward to seeing what changes each of the schools make over the coming years and will also be conducting a formal evaluation of the Initiative through a partnership with the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and Furman University. Stay tuned throughout the four years for updates!