December 21, 2012
School nurses, teachers and administrators in 55 Kansas counties will be able to deliver at-school programs aimed at improving the health of Kansas children by sharing $148,798.73 in Healthy Habits for Life grants from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation. The BCBSKS Foundation distributed the funds in mid-December to 159 schools, allowing school personnel to deliver programs in 2013 that will help students reduce their cardiovascular risk, increase their physical activity or learn healthy eating habits.
“Childhood obesity is a growing trend in our state, and Kansas school personnel – such as nurses, physical education, health and consumer sciences teachers, and principals – are leading the charge to reverse the trend by helping our young people develop healthy eating and physical activity habits,” said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to be part of that effort by providing the funds these dedicated professionals need to bring their programs to fruition.”
Each year, grantees use the funds on a variety of programs, such as purchasing nutrition curriculum, exercise equipment or healthy snacks, or organizing walking programs and family health fairs. Since the grant program’s inception in 2006, the BCBSKS Foundation has distributed 600 Healthy Habits for Life grants in excess of $573,000.
“On behalf of the BCBSKS Foundation board of directors, we are pleased with the response to this year’s call for grant applications and are thrilled to support the efforts of 159 school staff members who are committed to improving the health of their students,” Wegener said.
“With children spending so much of their time at school, the Foundation understands that schools are a great place for children to learn the healthy habits that will serve them well throughout their entire lives,” she said. “We also recognize that schools face ever tightening budgets making it more difficult for them to provide such health-related programs.”
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).
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation promotes the good health of Kansans who live in the Foundation’s 103-county service area. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the largest health insurer in the state, incorporated the Foundation in 2005 as a way to further deepen its commitment to helping all Kansans lead healthier lives, an effort which both entities believe is an essential factor in keeping health care affordable. Through its giving, the Foundation focuses on key health issues that can impact the lives of many Kansans. It funds programs and activities that are, at their core, health-related and in particular, promote health improvement, health care access, health education, healthy behaviors and prevention initiatives. 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. Both entities serve all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
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