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Highmark Foundation awards more than $285,000 in "Creating a Healthy School Environment" grants

June 22, 2015 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (June 22, 2015) — Children between ages 5 and 18 spend an average of 945 hours and 180 days in school each year. Because children spend so much time there, schools can be one of the most effective settings to promote health and wellness. With that in mind, the Highmark Foundation is awarding $286,575 in grants to schools across Pennsylvania and West Virginia in an effort to improve the health and wellness of students.

The Foundation's "Creating a Healthy School Environment" grant program is in its third year and helps schools address specific areas of student health. Grants are awarded to schools that serve children in grades K–12, in order to support development in one of four program areas: bullying prevention, child injury prevention, healthy eating and physical activity and physical and environmental health.

"We strive to jumpstart programs that not only promote the health of young people but help them establish lifelong healthy habits," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "Through this program, we are proud to help our children grow with healthy bodies and minds."

A total of 54 grants are being awarded to vocational, private, parochial and charter schools as well as school districts. The funds will help each school cultivate a particular program that will address specific need in its students' health. Some of the proposals were as broad as physical education programs while others were as specific as adding salad bars in cafeterias.

See the full list of schools here.

Since 2013, the Highmark Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million through the "Creating a Healthy School Environment" program to 230 schools in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit


Kelly DeAngelis
Highmark Foundation