COLUMBIA – It is well established that healthier children tend to have better grades, are more attentive in class and have fewer absences. To better support South Carolina schools in creating healthier school environments, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is announcing its Wellness Inspired School Environment (WISE) grants, which are open to all public and private nonprofit schools in South Carolina serving grades K-12. One application from each school will be considered. The Foundation is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG) and its Healthy Schools Program framework, which has been endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This framework develops and monitors progress toward a wellness action plan. Applicants can use the funds to implement activities from these wellness action plans. Schools can apply for grants ranging from $2,000 – $8,000 to support items based on the six evidence-based AHG modules: School Health and Safety Policies and Environment Health Education Physical Education and Other Physical Activity Programs Nutrition Services Health Promotion for Staff Family and Community Involvement According to Foundation Executive Director Erika Kirby, “Schools often want to do more to improve student well-being, but may not have the resources to do so. We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice, so we are supporting healthy school environments, which encourage and promote physical activity and healthy eating. This supports our long-term goal of improving the health and well-being of South Carolina’s children.” Schools are a natural channel to encourage and foster this behavior because children spend more time at school than any other place outside of the home. “The health and nutrition of South Carolina’s students has a strong impact on their success in the classroom and throughout their lives,” said Molly Spearman, state superintendent of education. “I applaud the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for recognizing this correlation and bringing additional wellness opportunities to schools in our state. I look forward to working with the Foundation and other community partners to ensure that every South Carolina student is healthy and ready to learn.” Applications are now being accepted and schools can learn more by visiting https://www.bcbsscfoundation.org/wisegrants.aspx. Schools can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. About the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation Headquartered in Columbia, the foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Its mission is to promote and support healthier South Carolinians, particularly the economically vulnerable, by supporting solutions to address gaps in health care and serving as an agent of change to support innovation and value-added public-private partnerships. About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for more than 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.