DETROIT, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Elementary, middle and high schools throughout Michigan are encouraged to apply for Building Healthy Communities, a comprehensive, healthy eating and physical activity program that provides school-wide support to improve children's health, increase academic success and help stem the growing economic and health care tidal wave of obesity in the state. The program, a result of a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Fitness Foundation, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, University of Michigan and Wayne State University Center for School Health, has reached more than 83,000 students in 187 schools since it was launched in 2009.
The Building Healthy Communities' wide-ranging approach to improve childhood health includes:
- Educating students through curriculum
- Providing a healthy, supportive environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice
- Encouraging students to practice lessons learned in the classroom throughout the school day and at home with their families
- Increasing access to physical activity opportunities
- Increasing access to healthy, nutrient-rich food and beverages
This year, schools can apply for the following 2014-2015 programs under the Building Healthy Communities umbrella that best fit their needs:
- Building Healthy Communities: Engaging elementary schools through partnership: This is an opportunity for elementary schools (K-5) to improve the current and future health of students through sustainable school-based education and environmental initiatives.
- Building Healthy Communities: Engaging middle schools through Project Healthy Schools: This is an opportunity for middle schools (grades 6-8) to reduce childhood obesity and its long-term health risks through sustainable school-based education and environmental initiatives.
- Building Healthy Communities: Breakfast in the classroom: This grant opportunity, available for Michigan elementary, middle and high schools (K-12), will provide students with greater access to healthy food offerings and promote healthy behavior. Grant funds can be used for schools to purchase equipment necessary to increase school breakfast participation and move breakfast to the classroom.
All public, charter and nonprofit private schools in Michigan are encouraged to apply for the program. Building Healthy Communities applications are due by March 14, 2014. Please visit bcbsm.com/buildhealth for full eligibility information, program descriptions and application information.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com or visit mibluesperspective.com.
The mission of the Michigan Fitness Foundation and Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports is to improve lives and strengthen communities by helping people eat healthy and be physically active. The Fitness Foundation and the Governor's Council work to bring about behavior change through programming, special projects and events that encourage citizens to build physical activity and sound nutrition into their daily routine. By empowering, facilitating and celebrating healthy choices, we will foster prosperity for all. For more information, visit michiganfitness.org.
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan. On behalf of funding members, these non-profit organizations provide science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. For more information, visit udim.org.
The University of Michigan, a public university grounded in academic excellence and integrity, is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world. It has a commitment to diversity, social equity and investment for the common good in the state, the nation and around the world. For more information, visit projecthealthyschools.org/bhc.
Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to 31,800 students making up the most diverse student body of any university in Michigan. The Center for School Health is housed in the College of Education with a focus on training "The Effective Urban Educator: Reflective, Innovative and Committed to Diversity". The Center for School Health successfully implements its mission to improve youth health through school-based programs that drive changes in knowledge, awareness and behaviors related to physical education and activity, nutrition education and healthy eating for students, families and communities. For more information, visit coe.wayne.edu/centerforschoolhealth/.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan