RISE Cowley is pairing with the Arkansas City and Winfield police departments to host kickoff events for the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant program.

RISE CowleyRISE Cowley and the Arkansas City Police Department will be hosts to the National Night Out kickoff party on Oct. 2 at Wilson Park, starting at 5 p.m.

The next day, RISE Cowley and the Winfield Police Department will have a Community Night Out event at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Island Park in Winfield.

Both parties will have food for patrons, as well as drawings to win donated Rubbermaid coolers filled with healthy lifestyle items or a Fitbit Charge.

Eight entities spread out across Kansas — but with a common focus of wanting to build sustainable, healthier communities — were selected for a major grant program offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Cowley County was selected as one of these Pathways to a Healthy Kansas communities for 2017-20.

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The Pathways program provides community health coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life.

The grant funding for each community includes a coordination grant of $100,000, with the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievement grants amounting to $400,000 — for a total of $500,000 per community.

Also, elementary schools in Cowley County will have free access to GoNoodle Plus for the duration of the funding period.

GoNoodle is a website with interactive games and videos that get children moving throughout the day. The activities are designed to help children to channel their physical and emotional energy for good, improving behavior, focus and achievement.

For more information about the kickoff events, email Charissa Wall at cwall@cowleycounty.org.

This information was provided by RISE Cowley Grant Co-Coordinator Charissa Wall.