Applications Open for Health & Wellness Programs for Local Schools

For the tenth year
in a row, Michigan elementary and middle schools are invited to apply for Building Healthy Communities, a private-public
initiative designed to fight obesity and improve childhood health through
school-based wellness programming. Building Healthy Communities, originally
created by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in 2009, is an evidence-based,
comprehensive, school-wide initiative that supports children’s health by
providing students, teachers and administrators with tools and resources to
improve student health while creating a healthier school environment.
Students participating
in the Building Healthy Communities programming reported eating 40
percent more fruits and vegetables than the national average for six to
11-year-olds, 19 minutes less screen and video time per day and 35 additional
minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.
“Improving
children’s health continues to be a principal focus for Blue Cross Blue Shield
of Michigan and the outstanding partners of this program,” said Lynda Rossi,
executive vice president of Strategy, Government and Public Affairs at Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Together, we hope to see Building Healthy
Communities
continue changing the culture of health in Michigan schools by
creating environments where it’s easy for students and teachers to develop and
demonstrate healthy habits.”
Building Healthy
Communities
 is supported by multiple statewide organizations,
including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health
and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan
Fitness Foundation, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Team
Nutrition, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, University of Michigan, Wayne
State University Center for Health and Community Impact and Action for Healthy
Kids, working together to address childhood obesity and teach kids healthy
habits that can be carried into adulthood. Over 270,000 students in more than
600 Michigan schools have been reached through Building Healthy Communities
and 131 schools started the program last
year.
“We are proud to be
partnering with and supporting so many Michigan schools in creating a culture
of health for students and teachers every school year,” said Nick Lyon,
director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Eating and
physical activity patterns focused on making healthier, informed food choices,
and being physically active can help students attain and maintain a healthy
weight, reduce their risk of chronic disease, promote overall health and
support academic achievement.” 
There are three
programs available through Building Healthy Communities to help meet the
needs of Michigan schools for the 2018-2019 school year.  Interested
schools are encouraged to review full program descriptions and application
information at www.bcbsm.com/buildhealth.
Applications are
currently being accepted for the Building Healthy Communities:
Elementary School Program and Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy
Schools.
·        
Building Healthy Communities: Elementary
School Program
– Applications will be accepted through
April 13, 2018. Interested schools can also join an informational conference
call at 10 a.m. on Mar. 2, 2018.  To join, call
641-715-0688 and enter pass code 517761#.
·        
Building Healthy
Communities: Engaging
Middle Schools through Project Healthy
Schools
–  Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on
March 30, 2018.  Interested schools can watch a recorded webinar at www.projecthealthyschools.org/BHC.
 “The ability for us to reach the children of our
state with health messaging is the biggest opportunity that there is,” said Kim
Eagle, M.D, Albion Walter Hewlett professor of Internal Medicine, professor of
Health Management and Policy in the University of Michigan School of Public
Health, and director, Frankel Cardiovascular Center at Michigan Medicine. “I
have absolute confidence that we are setting these kids up for a better chance
for health later by what we’re seeing in the middle schools where the
Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy
Schools
program is implemented. The challenge in front of us is daunting,
but I think we’ve shown that we can do it.  If we move this bar, we will
reap the benefits of that for decades to come.”
For more
information on Building Healthy Communities or to apply for
any of the programs, visit bcbsm.com/buildhealth.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual
insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5
million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of
Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company
information, visit
bcbsm.com
and
MiBluesPerspectives.com.

Amber Louchart

Amber is the proud Homeschooling mother to four beautiful children, Damian (23), Rosaleigh (9), Carlyn (6), Naomi (3) and a wife to her loving husband, Chancellor. Her family also includes three cats. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy.

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