December 22, 2011
More Kansas children than ever will have access to at-school programs designed to help them reduce their cardiovascular risk, increase their physical activity or learn healthy eating habits as a record number of Healthy Habits for Life grants were recently distributed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation. In all, school nurses, teachers and administrators in 79 Kansas counties will share $150,077.25 through 158 grants funding programs for the 2012 calendar year.
“The response to this year’s call for grant applications was tremendous and indicates the overwhelming need that Kansas schools have to find outside funding for programs to help their students lead healthier lives,” said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation, noting that more than 250 grant applications were submitted. “It was challenging to choose from such a large pool of quality applications. In the end, we choose a number of innovative programs and as well as many requests from schools that have not previously received Healthy Habits for Life grants.”
The BCBSKS Foundation has now distributed 441 Healthy Habits for Life grants in excess of $425,000 through six giving cycles.
“School personnel – such as nurses, physical education, health and home sciences teachers, and principals – are clearly on the front lines of the collective campaign against childhood obesity, and are working on creative solutions for their students,” Wegener said. “The Foundation is proud to provide the dollars necessary to equip these dedicated people with the tools they need to help their students, whether their plan is to acquire indoor or outdoor exercise equipment or nutrition curriculum, organize a family or community health fair, purchase healthy snacks, or any number of other innovative ideas.”
The renewal of the grant program was announced July 2011 in Wichita during the 22nd Annual Statewide Conference of the Kansas School Nurse Organization (KSNO). The amount of each grant was based on the applicant’s request for the program he or she proposed, up to a maximum of $1,000. The school district or private school must be located in the service area of the BCBSKS Foundation (all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte).
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. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the state’s largest health insurer, incorporated the Foundation in 2005 as a way to further deepen the company’s commitment to helping Kansans lead healthier lives. Both entities serve all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
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