130 Michigan K-12 Schools Receive Program to Create Healthy School Environment

130 Michigan K-12 Schools Receive Program to Create Healthy School Environment

DETROIT, Dec. 17, 2019—130 Michigan schools were awarded the Building Healthy Communities program, a public-private initiative that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with tools to create a healthier school environment focused on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and addressing mental health and well-being while empowering children to make healthy choices.

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 the training, curriculum, equipment, funds, communication tools and external coaches needed to implement a culture of wellness. Over the last 10 years, the program has resulted in students eating 40 percent more fruits and vegetables than the national average for six to 11-year-olds, spending 19 minutes less time on screens and video per day and 35 additional minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.

New this year, the program will provide tools to select schools to address mental health and well-being. These resources will empower students to better understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.  School staff will have the opportunity to address their personal wellness and implement supports for healthy eating, physical activity and well-being to help them be the best version of themselves every day.

Building Healthy Communities is supported by multiple statewide organizations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Team Nutrition, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University Center for Health and Community Impact and Action for Healthy Kids.

“The lasting impact our Building Healthy Communities program is having on students and faculty across the state has been instrumental to our efforts addressing childhood obesity and improving the health and well-being of Michigan children,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Government, Strategy and Public Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “As we continue celebrating our 10-year anniversary, we’re thrilled to be welcoming 130 more schools into the program.”

Building Healthy Communities has been embraced by more than 900 schools across the state, helping over 395,000 students develop better habits and live healthier lives. It supports Blue Cross’ ongoing commitment to children’s health and its #MIKidsCan campaign – an initiative focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood. For more information on Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is committed to giving all kids a healthy start and serving the whole child,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the department. “The Building Healthy Communities partnership has demonstrated results that align with our vision, and we look forward to working with over 100 schools this year to create and sustain healthy school environments.”

“Meeting all the needs of children is fundamental in raising successful students,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Investing more to address what adversely affects children outside of school will help them focus more on learning and being creative in positive, healthy ways.”

“Building Healthy Communities is one of the most unique and impactful statewide collaboratives in the nation. The program’s ability to unite such diverse stakeholders in a focused effort to address childhood obesity through comprehensive healthy school transformations is remarkable,” said Nate McCaughtry, director; Center for Health and Community Impact for Wayne State University.  “Our Center is thrilled to be part of celebrating the 10th anniversary and working alongside so many dedicated Michigan schools.”

“Research shows that students who eat healthier meals are better ready to learn. That’s why the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, on behalf of Michigan’s dairy farm families, is proud to support the Building Healthy Communities program,” said Sharon Toth, registered dietitian and nutritionist, CEO, United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “This program aligns with the dairy community’s goals to empower youth to lead healthy sustainable change in their schools and communities.  We are creating a healthier future for our students and setting them up for success.”

“Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy Schools is a school-based health promotion program that reaches middle schoolers around our state with health messages related to nutrition and physical activity,” said Michigan Medicine cardiologist Kim Eagle, M.D., Albert Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine, director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and co-founder of Project Healthy Schools. “Through our efforts as part of the Building Healthy Communities partnership, we’ve reach tens of thousands of students with important health messages that can change their lives and their futures too. By helping shape healthy behaviors at an early age, we are making a lifelong impact on health.”

Earlier this year, Michigan schools were invited to apply for one of three programs under the successful Building Healthy Communities program for the 2019-2020 school year. The programs include: Building Healthy Communities: Elementary School Program (grades K-5), Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools Through Project Healthy Schools (grades six through eight) and Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness (grades K-12).

The schools receiving Building Healthy Communities programming for the 2019-2020 school year include:

Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Elementary Schools through Partnership

  • Alonzo Bates Academy, Detroit
  • Anchor Elementary School, Dexter
  • Angell Elementary School, Berkley
  • Ann Arbor Open School, Ann Arbor
  • Arts & Technology Academy of Pontiac, Pontiac
  • Auburn Elementary, Auburn Hills
  • Ben H. McComb Elementary, Caro
  • Big Bay de Noc School, Cooks
  • Blackwell Institute, Detroit
  • Brenda Scott Academy, Detroit
  • Buckley Community Elementary School, Buckley
  • Cooke STEM Academy, Detroit
  • David Ellis Academy Detroit, Detroit
  • Dickinson East Elementary School, Hamtramck
  • East Elementary School, Cheboygan
  • Faxon Language Immersion Academy, Farmington Hills
  • Fisher Lower Magnet Academy, Detroit
  • Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies, Detroit
  • Greenfield Union Elementary / Middle School, Detroit
  • Havel Elementary, Sterling Heights
  • Kenbrook Elementary School, Farmington Hills
  • Lansing Charter Academy, Lansing
  • Marquette Elementary/Middle School, Detroit
  • McDonald Elementary, Dearborn
  • Plumbrook Elementary, Sterling Heights
  • Reformed Heritage Christian School, Kalamazoo
  • Reo School, Lansing
  • Roberts Elementary School, Shelby Township
  • South Arbor Charter Academy, Ypsilanti
  • St. Michael Catholic School, Grand Ledge
  • Stoney Creek Elementary, Comstock Park
  • Sycamore Elementary School, Holt
  • Tau Beta School, Hamtramck
  • Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Detroit
  • Wattles Park Elementary, Battle Creek

Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy Schools    

  • AD Johnston Junior & Senior High School, Bessemer
  • Almont Middle School, Almont
  • Blesch Intermediate School, Menominee
  • Franklin Middle School, Wayne
  • Harper Woods Triumph Middle School, Harper Woods
  • L’Anse Area School, L’Anse
  • Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy, Detroit
  • Power Middle School, Farmington Hills
  • Richfield Public Schools Academy, Flint

Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness

  • Adams Elementary, Zeeland
  • Ann J. Kellogg School, Battle Creek
  • Ashley Elementary School, Ashley
  • Barryton Elementary School, Barryton
  • Bendle Middle School, Burton
  • Bendle Senior High School, Burton
  • Bishop Elementary School, Ypsilanti
  • Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls
  • Bozymowski Center Elementary, Warren
  • Bozymowski Center Secondary School, Sterling Heights
  • Cass City Elementary School, Cass City
  • Central Middle School, Port Huron
  • Chester F. Miller School, Saginaw
  • Cityside Middle School, Zeeland
  • Clara B. Bolen Elementary School, Tawas City
  • Cleveland Elementary School, Port Huron
  • Comstock Elementary School, Kalamazoo
  • Comstock STEM Academy, Kalamazoo
  • Coopersville West ECC, Coopersville
  • Cummings Elementary School, Grand Rapids
  • Detroit Enterprise Academy, Detroit
  • Dudley STEM, Battle Creek
  • E.B. Holman Elementary School, Atlantic Mine
  • Edison Elementary School, Fort Gratiot
  • Field Elementary School, Canton
  • Fort Gratiot Middle School, Fort Gratiot
  • Fremont School, Battle Creek
  • Garfield Elementary School, Port Huron
  • Gobles Elementary School, Gobles
  • Goodrich High School, Goodrich
  • Goodrich Middle School, Goodrich
  • Grand Blanc Academy, Grand Blanc
  • Greyhound Intermediate School, Eaton Rapids
  • H.D. Crull Elementary School, Port Huron
  • Harrison Center, Port Huron
  • Hartford High School, Hartford
  • Highland Pines School, Caro
  • Holland Woods Middle School, Port Huron
  • Holmes Foundation Academy, Flint
  • Holy Cross Lutheran School, Saginaw
  • Holy Ghost Lutheran School, Monroe
  • Houghton Lake Adult Education, Houghton Lake
  • Indian Woods Elementary School, Kimball
  • Ishpeming Middle/High School, Ishpeming
  • James T. Jones Elementary School, Gladstone
  • Keewahdin Elementary School, Fort Gratiot
  • Keith Bovenschen School, Warren
  • Kindergarten Discovery Center, Benton Harbor
  • Lake City Elementary School, Lake City
  • Lamora Park School, Battle Creek
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Zeeland
  • Long Lake Elementary School, Traverse City
  • Ludington High School, Ludington
  • Maple Grove Elementary School, South Haven
  • Marion Elementary School, Marion
  • Mumford High School, Detroit
  • NexTech High School, Grand Rapids
  • Nouvel Catholic Central Elementary School, Saginaw
  • Oak Manor Sixth Grade Center, Niles
  • Oaktree Elementary School, Goodrich
  • Onsted Elementary School, Onsted
  • Orchard View Early Elementary, Muskegon
  • P.D. Graham Elementary School, Westland
  • Parchment Middle School, Parchment
  • Parchment Northwood Elem. School, Kalamazoo
  • Patterson Elementary School, Tecumseh
  • Pennfield North School,  Battle Creek
  • Pennfield Purdy School, Battle Creek
  • Post Franklin Elementary School, Battle Creek
  • Prevail Academy, Mt. Clemens
  • Raupp School, Lincoln Park
  • Reid Elementary School, Goodrich
  • Ring Lardner Middle School, Niles
  • River City Scholars Academy, Grand Rapids
  • Roosevelt Elementary School, Port Huron
  • Shoreline Elementary School, Whitehall
  • South Bendle Elementary School, Burton
  • St. Mary School, Charlotte
  • Summit Academy North High School, Flat Rock
  • T.R. Davis Elementary School, Dollar Bay
  • Tecumseh East STEAM Center, Tecumseh
  • Tecumseh West STEAM Center, Tecumseh
  • Three Oaks Public School Academy, Muskegon
  • Waldorf School Assn. of Michigan, Detroit
  • West Intermediate School, Mt. Pleasant
  • Westfield Preparatory High School, Redford

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 health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.