Posted on May 27th, 2016

The Mary Black Foundation announced today that it plans to award $774,000 for up to nine Spartanburg County schools to participate in a four-year Healthy Schools Initiative.

Over the period of four years, each of the chosen schools will receive personalized technical assistance from state and local experts to go through the National Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program, which is an evidence-based initiative that creates sustainable healthy change in schools. In addition to the technical assistance, each school will receive financial support to implement the various components that are part of the Alliance’s Program, up to $86,000 over the period of four years.

The Spartanburg County 2014 Body Mass Index (BMI) Report began to show a slight plateau in the percentage of children who are either overweight or obese:

  • 28% of first graders,
  • 1% of third graders, and
  • 3% of fifth graders.

However, the numbers are nevertheless high (with even higher percentages for lower socio-economic groups, as well as for African Americans and Latinos). Through the Healthy Schools Initiative, the Foundation aims to continue efforts to address these rates so that all of our children can grow up at a healthy weight and thrive.

The deadline for schools to submit applications is April 1, 2016.

About the Mary Black Foundation:

The Mary Black Foundation is an independent private foundation. Since 1996, the Foundation has awarded more than $43 million to support its mission of investing in the people and communities for improved health, wellness, and success in Spartanburg County. The Foundation works to achieve its mission primarily through its efforts to improve early childhood development and encourage healthy eating and physical activity. It also awards grants under the Community Health Fund to improve health and wellness more broadly.

Additional information about the Foundation is available at