JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation) and ChildObesity180 today announced eleven winners of their nationwide innovation contest, including Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The competition was designed to identify and reward the most creative, impactful, and scalable school-based programs and technologies to promote children's physical activity.
BCBSF Foundation is helping the Active Schools Acceleration Project award $500 thousand to nine finalist school programs and two Grand Prize technology winners in nationwide competition aimed at reversing childhood obesity trend.
With the support of BCBSF Foundation, the Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), a ChildObesity180 initiative, launched the competition in February 2012 in a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America. First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged participation in the competition with a call for applications via a video message.
Miami Area "School Programs" Category Regional Winner of $25,000:
Beating more than 400 applicants, Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Fla. was named one of the nine regional finalists. The district's "Fit-tech Programs" incorporate technology into elementary physical education where no gym exists by bringing fitness into the classroom via "exergaming", gaming bikes and other equipment. Measurable results have shown that overweight students lost an average of eight pounds per semester. Other results the district has seen include increased self-esteem, improved socialization and better reading ability in low-level readers.
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation is proud to continue the fight against childhood obesity and support these many good projects," said Susan Towler, vice president, BCBSF Foundation. "I know the work being done at these schools will inspire others to take charge and eliminate the epidemic of childhood obesity once and for all."
Teachers, schools, and school districts submitted their school-based physical activity programs to the "School Programs" category, while the "Technology Innovation" category invited developers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how existing or emerging technologies could be used to inspire kids to be physically active. A panel of experts representing various fields judged the entries. A complete list of judges is available at www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org.
Other "School Programs" Category Regional Winners of $25,000 each:
- Corona-Norco Unified School District - Norco, Calif. – West Region
- El Paso Independent School District - El Paso, Texas – Southwest Region
- Hilton Head Island Elementary - Hilton Head, S.C. – Atlantic Region
- Meadowview Elementary School - Farmington, Minn. – Midwest Region
- Harlem and Washington Heights / Inwood (PS 4, PS 102, PS 128, PS 123, PS 152, PS/IS 180, PS/IS 206, PS/IS 210) - New York, N.Y. – New York/New Jersey Region
- Natick Public Schools - Natick, Mass. – Northeast Region
- Overland Avenue Elementary School - Los Angeles, Calif. – West Region
- Red Hawk Elementary - Erie, Colo. – Central/Mountain Region
"Technology Innovation" Category Grand Prize Winners of $50,000 each:
Each of the regional "School Programs" category winners will receive $25,000 to further advance health and wellness programming in their school or district. On June 13th in Washington, DC, two of these nine winners will be chosen as National Winners for a $100,000 award for each winner. The two "Technology Innovation" Grand Prize winners will receive $50,000 each to advance their technologies.
Working closely with leading researchers and expert staff at Tufts University and ChildObesity180, National "School Program" and "Technology Innovation" winners will participate in pilot studies to expand their programs and technologies to schools of different types, sizes, and geographies across the country.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of BCBSF incorporated in the state of Florida. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, and its parent, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation for a Healthy Florida, please visit its website at www.bluefoundationfl.com and www.embraceahealthyfl.org.
Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) is an initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization committed to fostering cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation's time. The ChildObesity180 membership is comprised of national leaders from the public, non-profit, academic, and private sectors that 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 obesity researcher Dr. Christina Economos serves as vice-chair and director and Dr. Miriam Nelson is the co-director. Founded in 2009, ChildObesity180 in conducted in collaboration with Tufts University. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation are strategic funders. The Innovation Competition is funded by a consortium of the nation's leading health plans.
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation