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Highmark contributes school health donations

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With monetary support from The Highmark Foundation, George Washington High School and Lakewood Elementary are one step closer to creating healthier school environments.

Through the Foundation's "Creating a Healthy School Environment" initiative, George Washington was awarded $5,000 and Lakewood was awarded $2,500.

George Washington's program, "Preventing Accidents Through Rigorous Instructional Offering to Students," or PATRIOTS, will prove 10-15 minute instructional videos on the topics of driving hazards, cyber-bullying, suicide prevention, sports injuries and substance abuse.

Lakewood's "New Year New You" will introduce healthy snack options and exercise to the students.

Sample activities include heart-healthy activities, including the Kangaroo Club and jump rope challenge, planting a garden to make fresh salsa in the spring and Turkey Trot in November, when students will track steps taken with pedometers.

Priority areas for which schools could apply for funding included childhood injury prevention, healthy eating and physical activity, as well as physical and environmental health.

The mini-grants, which were geared toward students in grades K-12, enable schools to continue to create healthy school environments, actively engage leadership, integrate wellness into the overall strategy and effectively use data for continued improvement.