October 25 is the deadline for the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s two grant programs: for research and health education projects and for school gardens. Physician involvement is required for the research and health education grants, and physicians are encouraged to notify local public school districts about the garden grant opportunity.
About $30,000 is available for community-based or statewide research and health education projects aimed at improving health in Wisconsin. The Foundation prefers to support innovative projects focused on prevention with the potential for great impact, visibility and replication in other communities. Some funding for physician education programs and mental health initiatives also is available.
The goal of the school garden grant program is to encourage elementary and middle level public schools in Wisconsin to establish a garden and incorporate healthy living activities and lessons in their curriculum. Through this program, the Foundation seeks to assist schools with activities related to planning, planting, caring for and harvesting a school garden.
Studies have shown that involving children in growing food helps them develop a greater appreciation for where food comes from and makes them more likely to enjoy a greater variety of fruits and vegetables — a key goal in improving health and reducing overweight and obesity.
In 2012, the Foundation awarded almost $14,000 in grants to 12 schools and school districts across Wisconsin. Physicians can help their local schools to be considered for an award by passing on this opportunity to the school and by writing a letter of support for their application.
Details and application materials for all Foundation grant opportunities are on the Foundation’s website.
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