Collins’ students earn ‘take charge’ grant

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By Sharon Warner

Collins High School was among 41 high schools selected by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and its partners to receive grants to develop or improve the nutritional, physical activity or tobacco prevention policies at their schools.

The $500 grants are part of the Students Taking Charge program offered by Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids (KYAFHK). Collins High received a grant for a tobacco awareness plan. “Health leads to a wealth of knowledge, success, and a long life which students care about,” said junior Taylor Royse.

Students Taking Charge provides students with the tools necessary to develop healthy policies and environments within their schools. Through the program, students learn to assess the current school environment, come up with an action plan to address needs and implement the plan to create long-lasting changes. Money for the grants comes from federal funding to support health promotion activities.

Student Assistance Program counselor Terry Graney said students identified “what it looks like at our school” by reporting – some no smoking signs are posted but they are small and not in every hallway; younger students do not know the smoking cessation program exists nor where to go for help with tobacco issues; Lack of awareness about how tobacco affects them and their friends.

The grantees include: physical activity/nutrition, 11 were awarded; tobacco prevention, 19 were awarded, including one to Collins; school gardens, 11 were awarded.