NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced today Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation will award eleven new Triple Play grants to local Boys & Girls Clubs in New York to improve the health and wellness of kids in the state. Thanks to the generous support of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, the Triple Play program in Boys & Girls Clubs in New York helped more than 16,000 youth engage in regular physical activity last year.
The grants help provide programming during out-of-school time that supports a healthy, active lifestyle. Boys & Girls Clubs around the state will receive a variety of grants to support Triple Play programming, focusing on being healthy holistically through the mind, body and soul.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation will be issuing the following grants to Clubs:
- As part of a new grant this year, Madison Square Boys & Girls Clubs, Thomas Murphy Club will receive a $16,500 Impact Grant for a games room renovation. The renovation will provide much needed equipment for the indoor room that facilitates social interactions between kids and provides productive physical and mental games and activities for Club members. The gamesroom hosted a grand opening event on September 25
- Children's Aid Society, Dunlevy Milbank Unit, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Lucille Palmaro Clubhouse and USAG Fort Hamilton CYS Services, Fort Hamilton Youth Center will each receive a $5,000 Mind, Body & Soul Grant to implement Triple Play programming at their location for the first time
- The Educational Alliance Boys & Girls Club will receive a $5,000 FitnessGram Grant in order to fund improved fitness assessments and reporting
- Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, Navy Yard Unit and The Educational Alliance Boys & Girls Club, PS142 Unit will each receive a $5,000 Focus Grant to provide programming focused on teaching the importance of healthy eating habits and being physically active. The Clubs will also focus on increasing their fruit and veggie consumption or physical activity as part of the grant
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation will also award Hicksville Youth Council's Boys & Girls Club and Grenville Boys & Girls Club, each with a $3,000 Innovation Grant to encourage the Club to provide innovative solutions to increased physical activity, nutrition awareness or fruit and vegetable consumption in their Clubs
- Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Lucille Palmaro Clubhouse and Castle Hill Unit will each receive a $1,000 Oasis CATCH Healthy Habits Grant to promote and encourage healthy eating and physical activities for Club members
"Many kids today are facing an uphill battle when it comes to eating right and understanding how to maintain healthy habits," said Brian Griffin, president and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "The Triple Play program and Boys & Girls Clubs are working to educate and help make healthy choices easier for kids. Through the program we are building a solid foundation of learning with activities that will help kids continue healthy habits and exercise into their adult lives."
As Boys & Girls Clubs of America's proven health and wellness program, Triple Play is a game plan for the mind, body and soul. Supported by founding sponsor The Coca-Cola Company and co-sponsor, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the program's three components encourage Club members to eat healthier (mind), become more physically active (body) and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul). Since the program's inception in 2005, Triple Play has made 9.2 million connections with kids.
"Triple Play continues to be one of the most utilized programs in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country – changing the opportunity equation for kid's health today," said Wayne B. Moss, BGCA's senior director of healthy lifestyles. "Without the support of our partners like Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, we would not be able to impact so many kids each year. Triple Play provides much needed healthy lifestyles programming to kids who need it most, creating a positive foundation for them to grow and thrive as healthy, responsible adults."
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation is committed to improving health and strengthening New York communities. Through its Healthy Generations grant program, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation works to identify the issues most in need of attention and then directs its financial support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas. Promoting youth health and active lifestyles is an ongoing focus of the foundation.
The Triple Play grants announced today are part of a five-year, $10 million commitment from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield's parent company foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote healthy lifestyles.
About Triple Play
Triple Play: A healthy lifestyles Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul, was launched in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services and with support from The Coca-Cola Company. The goal of Triple Play is to encourage kids to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships. A two-year study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. The study found that Triple Play kids increased to 90 percent of the federally recommended amount of daily exercise, which is 60 minutes a day for children, while their peers outside the program decreased to 78 percent. Triple Play includes five program components, each of which serves between 20,000 and 500,000 youth annually. Since its inception in 2005, Triple Play has made more than 9.2 million connections with kids across the country. In 2011, the WellPoint Foundation joined BGCA and Coca-Cola as a Triple Play sponsor. Learn more about the program at www.bgca.org/tripleplay.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation and the Empire BlueCross Foundation, trade names of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation L.L.C., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State, promotes Empire's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Empire serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' pledges.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America