July 20, 2010
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation Increases Funding of Healthy Habits for Life Grant Program to $100,000
As the Healthy Habits for Life grant program enters its fifth giving cycle this fall, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation is making more dollars available and reaching out to a greater number of potential grantees, all in an attempt to encourage additional Kansas children to adopt healthy habits.
The Foundation is committing $100,000 to fund Healthy Habits for Life grants which school personnel can use during the 2011 calendar year to develop programs that will help school-aged children reduce their cardiovascular risk, increase their physical activity or learn healthy eating habits. During the past four years, the Foundation has awarded 171 grants in excess of $162,000.
“The Foundation is increasing its financial commitment to Healthy Habits for Life at this time because our leaders understand the importance of finding solutions to lower the incidence of childhood obesity while putting our children on the path to a lifetime of good health,” said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation.
“We also recognize that, while this is an important priority, school budgets are tighter than ever and many Kansas schools are struggling to find the resources they need for basic educational programs. The BCBSKS Foundation hopes to help fill some of those funding gaps by increasing grant opportunities through Healthy Habits for Life,” she said.
In addition, Wegener said the Foundation is targeting a wider group of potential grantees. In the past, the Foundation targeted school nurses with information about the grant program. For this giving cycle, the Foundation is continuing its relationship with school nurses, but also is reaching out to other school personnel, such as physical education, health, and family and consumer science teachers, athletics directors and principals.
“As we have reviewed the results of the programs created with past grant dollars, it became clear that school nurses do not have sole responsibility for delivering health and wellness education within our schools,” Wegener said. “Many teachers and administrators play a key role in those efforts as well, which is why we are encouraging other personnel to apply for grants for 2011.”
The maximum grant amount is $1,000 and grants are limited to one per school. Healthy Habits for Life grants are available in the service area of the BCBSKS Foundation which includes all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
Applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 15 with the funds distributed in mid-December. Grant recipients can use the funds for programs offered during the 2011 calendar year.
For more information, visit www.bcbsks.com/foundation or call Wegener at 1-800-432-0216, ext. 7246, or, in Topeka, 291-7246.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSKS is the state's largest health insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
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