ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Commissioner of Education joined Allina Health officials on Thursday at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul to announce the creation of $100,000 grant program for Minnesota and Western Wisconsin schools.
As children worked nearby in the school's garden, Commissioner of Education Breda Cassellius and leaders from the Aspen Medical Group and Allina Clinics, talked about the new School Health Connection.
Leaders called it an innovative program that strengthens the connection between healthy students and academic achievement.
Allina Health will select 10 elementary schools in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, through a competitive application process.
Schools chosen will receive $10,000 in grant funding, $9,000 to support healthy-lifestyle programs or equipment needs in their school and $1,000 to fund a student-generated idea or program to improve health inspired by a student competition.
Also, a physician from a nearby Allina Health primary-care clinic will consult with each school for two hours per month for a full academic year, helping school staffs respond to health issues affecting their school.
Allina Health professionals will provide two one-hour in-service training sessions for teachers and staff on topics selected by the school, such as youth obesity, nutrition, mental health, concussion prevention and treatment.
School staff and teachers will have access to online health learning tools, developed by Allina Health experts that provide engaging lessons on activity, nutrition and mind-body balance.
Allina Health staff will work with the school to collaboratively hold a health fair for students, staff and families.
The Allina Health Mobile Wellness Center, parked outside the event site, will provide free health screenings to parents and staff.
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31. For more information and to apply, visit allinahealth.org/school.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)