CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), an initiative of ChildObesity180, today announces a creative grant opportunity to get kids moving in America's schools. ASAP Acceleration Grants totaling $1,000,000 will be awarded to 1,000 schools to implement award-winning and innovative physical activity programs. First Lady Michelle Obama is encouraging schools to apply for a grant through her "Let's Move! Active Schools" campaign, which also debuts today.
Research demonstrates that physically active kids do better academically and behaviorally, and schools are a great place for boosting children's physical activity. Schools can apply for a grant to kick-start one of three physical activity programs – 100 Mile Club, BOKS, or CHALK/Just Move. Each program offers a fun and flexible approach to school-based physical activity, ensuring a match for schools of all types, sizes, and in all geographies.
Teachers, parents, coaches, and other school wellness "champions" who are ready to take a leadership role in bringing physical activity to their school are encouraged to apply. Acceleration Grant applications will be accepted from February 28 through April 22, 2013. For more information, visit www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org.
"ASAP's Acceleration Grants program takes innovative and scalable programs and makes them available to schools nationwide with seed funding, training, and support," says Christina D. Economos, PhD, Vice-Chair and Director of ChildObesity180, Associate Professor at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and a leading researcher in the field of childhood obesity prevention.
The private sector is stepping up to play a lead role. Lead funding for ASAP Acceleration Grants has been provided by the Cigna Foundation with additional funding provided by Kaiser Permanente. According to David Cordani, President and CEO of Cigna Corporation and a Charter Member of ChildObesity180, "Cigna is committed to investing in effective programs such as ChildObesity180 to provide children with a foundation for a lifetime of health. We are proud to support this campaign and are committed to making meaningful change."
The three available programs —100 Mile Club, BOKS, and CHALK/Just Move—were selected during ASAP's Innovation Competition held last year and recognized in Washington, D.C., along with six other winning models.
- The 100 Mile Club presents elementary school students with a straightforward challenge: run, jog, or walk 100 miles over the course of the school year. Students of all abilities jump at the chance to log miles during designated running times before or after school, during recess, and at sanctioned community events.
- BOKS is a before-school program designed to prepare children for a day of learning. BOKS features structured group play emphasizing aerobic exertion, fun, and team spirit.
- CHALK/Just Move is a classroom-based activity program designed to get students up and active at their desks. Originally developed in New York City by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, the program demonstrates that, even without a gymnasium or outdoor play space, a school can become an active school.
"We are thrilled to be generating momentum to bring innovative and flexible programs to scale," said Peter Dolan, Chair of ChildObesity180. "With the collaboration of the First Lady's "Let's Move! Active Schools" campaign, the Partnership for a Healthier America, Cigna Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente, we are moving closer to our shared goal of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic."
Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) is an initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization committed to cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. ChildObesity180 membership comprises national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors who are using their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national strategy to prevent childhood obesity. The organization is chaired by Peter Dolan, former CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Leading Tufts University childhood obesity and nutrition researcher Dr. Christina Economos serves as Vice-Chair and Director, and Dr. Miriam Nelson, a Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, is Co-Director. Founded in 2009, ChildObesity180 is conducted in collaboration with Tufts University. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation are strategic funders. For more information about ChildObesity180 and the Active Schools Acceleration Project, please visit www.ChildObesity180.org.