New law can help shape a healthier Oklahoma

BY AMBER ENGLAND Published: November 3, 2012
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The Shared Use Project seeks to educate Oklahomans about the importance of connecting schools and communities through cooperative agreements. Shared-use legislation, championed by Gov. Mary Fallin, the American Heart Association and the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition, was passed by the Legislature in 2012 and went into effect Thursday. This legislation helps remove the fear of lawsuits from schools by further limiting the liability placed on a school that opens its facility for recreational purposes.

Increasing the number of shared-use agreements throughout Oklahoma offers school districts the opportunity to open their facilities for community use and show the value they bring to communities. This also paves the way for greater community access to school property by allowing the district to share with another community group the costs associated with keeping their lights on and doors unlocked for after-hours use.

The Shared Use Project can help shape a more safe and healthy Oklahoma for generations to come.

England is program director for the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition.