Mercer County Schools to be part of new health initiative

PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) – Mercer County Schools will participate in a new WV Healthy Schools in Action project, a five-year initiative that targets health challenges faced by schools and students.

The program is the result of a $390,000 grant to the Center for ActiveWV at West Virginia University, and that is part of a much broader total of $1.95 million over the next five years.

All funding is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the school system, the project “aims to develop targeted approaches that enhance physical activity, healthy dietary behaviors, and self-management of chronic health conditions among underserved students statewide. By implementing comprehensive knowledge and capacity-building strategies aligned with the ‘Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child’ framework, the project seeks to improve school health policies, practices, programs, and services that promote healthy behaviors and health equity practices.”

West Virginia has a high prevalence of poor physical health including chronic illnesses, and the program recognizes the potential of schools and school systems as strategic partners in improving health behaviors among youth.

The project team with the Center for ActiveWV will support at least 75 percent of Mercer County schools in developing and implementing school health action plans. These plans will address physical activity, healthy food access, health equity, and student health conditions, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive school physical activity plan, active school wellness teams, and health policy development.

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