Tobacco Free

Coahoma Awarded $10k Tobacco-Free Grant

Soon the Coahoma Community College campus will be able to breathe a little easier. The college recently announced receiving a $10,000 tobacco-free grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

Coahoma Awarded $10k Tobacco-Free Grant

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Marriel Hardy

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Wed Nov 20, 2019

Tobacco Free

Soon the Coahoma Community College campus will be able to breathe a little easier. The college recently announced receiving a $10,000 tobacco-free grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

The grant, a component of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation’s Healthy School Awards, recognizes and rewards public schools with health policies and programs that promote healthy eating, physical activity, staff wellness, tobacco-free lifestyles among students and staff, and parental and community involvement. The criteria for the award was based on state and national school health standards.

Karen Woods-Done, director of the Division of Student Engagement, is pleased with the recent award. She sees this as an opportunity to educate students on the dangers of smoking, continuing tobacco initiative already in place.

“Unfortunately, with the upsurge of vaping, etc, and the increased findings on how secondary smoke effects nonsmokers, there is an even greater need for tobacco-free initiatives on campus,” said Woods-Done. “Our plans for the new funds include offering yoga and other ways that students can spend time rather than spending time smoking.”

According to Woods-Done, earlier in the Fall 2019 semester, BCBS invited the human resource departments and the VP/Dean of Students Affairs at all institutions of higher learning in the State to a workshop on their campus. They discussed successful programs on campuses where tobacco-free initiatives were implemented. Additionally, the organization shared that they had available grant funds to aid campuses in increasing their current plans and begin to move the needle further.

“Several years ago, the college was a recipient of a grant from the Truth Initiative to begin the process to make our campus smoke free. Making our campus Smoke-Free has been a focus of the college for the last three years,” Woods-Done added.  “With this grant, a task force comprised of all sectors of the campus was organized to continue to market and push the needle on making our campus a Tobacco-free campus.”

The goal of these awards is to motivate Mississippi schools and colleges as they create and maintain healthy school environments. Healthy schools help students achieve full academic potential and support them in developing lifelong healthy behaviors. The Healthy School Awards will assist school leaders in their efforts to make their schools, and ultimately our state, a healthier place to live.

“Students will get involved in helping us to market our campus as tobacco-free via social media. Additionally, all programmatic activities will be for the entire student body as well as faculty and staff,” said Woods-Done.

For more information on Coahoma Community College’s tobacco-free initiatives, contact the Division of Student Engagement at 662.621.4155.