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Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)


Tennessee will use a $4.3 million federal grant to develop strategies to better student health in the state, according to a Tennessee Department of Education announcement Monday.

The state will use the money to support strategies and activities to prevent childhood obesity, reduce the risk of children and adolescents developing a chronic disease in adulthood, and help manage chronic health conditions prevalent in Tennessee students, according to the news release.

Tennessee ranks 27th overall in child health, according to the annual KIDS COUNT report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

"We know that a student's health and academic performance are closely linked, so we are excited to provide more of our students the opportunity to continue to grow and learn while benefitting their physical health," Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said in the release. "These grants will allow us to provide resources to our districts and schools to further the well-being of all Tennessee children."

The release says Tennessee kids often struggle in areas such as in their poor eating habits and lack of daily exercise.

The education department will use the money to help provide students education on proper nutrition, physical activity, and management of chronic health conditions. Tennessee is one of 17 states awarded the federal grants.

While some of the strategies and practices will be put in place statewide, the department also has selected 10 districts where the work will be prioritized: Crockett County Schools, Lauderdale County Schools, Weakley County Schools, Maury County Schools, Wayne County Schools, Rutherford County Schools, Trousdale County Schools, Monroe County Schools, Grainger County Schools and Hawkins County Schools.

The districts were selected for their access to physical activity programs and their high percentage of overweight or obese students, high economically disadvantaged status and the high percentage of students with chronic health conditions, according to the release.

Contact Jason Gonzales at and on Twitter @ByJasonGonzales.

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July 10, 2018


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