158 Michigan K-12 schools receive wellness program to improve health and prevent childhood obesity

158 Michigan K-12 schools receive wellness program to improve health and prevent childhood obesity

DETROIT, Nov. 28, 2018—158 Michigan schools statewide were chosen to join the Building Healthy Communities program, a public-private initiative to improve health and wellness through better nutrition and physical activity for their students.

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 support to improve student health, while creating a healthier school environment. Students participating in 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.

Earlier this year, Michigan schools were invited to apply for one of three programs under the successful Building Healthy Communities program for the 2018-2019 school year. Each is designed to provide a sustainable program empowering students with the knowledge, skills and attitude to make healthy choices and environmental improvements to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 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).

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 Michigan Health Endowment Fund also provides support for a number of schools with the Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Middle Schools through Project Healthy Schools program.

“Every year, we are impressed by the increasing number of schools dedicated to the health and wellness of their students,” said Nick Lyon, Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “We are excited about being part of a movement to build healthy eating and active living habits for life!”

Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Strategy, Government and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said, “Like our dedicated partners, Blue Cross is thrilled to see the significant impact the Building Healthy Communities program has had on empowering students and educators across the state to live healthier. From vegetable tastings to active recess and improved school meals, the program is designed to engage children in a culture of wellness that goes beyond the classroom to instill healthier habits at home and later in life.”

“Wayne State University’s Center for Health and Community Impact is proud to be working with so many Michigan schools in their healthy school transformations,” said Nate McCaughtry, Ph.D., center director and assistant dean of the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sports Studies.  “Our research on Building Healthy Communities indicates students at participating schools have increased physical activity, improved eating habits, shown a decreased risk for obesity and other chronic conditions, and improved academic achievement in reading and math. The long-term benefits of which are promising.”

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 said, “The obesity epidemic is a public health emergency. We feel the right environment to tackle this problem is in the schools. We should be teaching the value of health to our children. First, it’s a captive place where we have the chance to reach all of them. Second, it’s the right environment to teach children about the science of health. We’d like to reinforce lifestyle behaviors for these children to adopt and carry throughout their lives and share with others.”

“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. 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,” said Sharon Toth, RD and chief executive officer of United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

Building Healthy Communities has been embraced by more than 750 schools across the state, helping over 340,000 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. Over the last 12 years, Blue Cross has given more than $8 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state. For more information on Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter.

The schools receiving Building Healthy Communities programming for the 2018-2019 school year include:

Building Healthy Communities: Elementary School Program City
Avoca Elementary Avoca
Bethune Elementary/Middle School Detroit
Bow Elementary/Middle Detroit
Century Park Learning Center Grandville
Commonwealth Community Development Academy Detroit
East Elementary Grandville
Glazer Academy Detroit
Grayling Elementary School Grayling
Immaculate Conception Catholic School Three Rivers
Innocademy-Allegan Fennville
Innocademy-Zeeland Zeeland
James Gardner Elementary Detroit
John F. Farrell-Emmett Elementary School Emmett
John R. King Academy Detroit
Lindemann Elementary Allen Park
Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts Detroit
Meadow Montessori School Monroe
Mecosta Elementary School Mecosta
Mill Creek Elementary Williamsburg
Momentum Academy Hazel Park
Nolan Elementary/Middle School Detroit
Nowlin Elementary Dearborn
Owen Intermediate School Belleville
Palmer Park Preparatory Academy Detroit
Pathfinder Elementary School Fremont
Patton Elementary School Roseville
Plymouth Educational Center Detroit
Shrine Catholic Grade School Royal Oak
St Mary’s Assumption School Bronson
St Paul School Owosso
St Stanislaus School Dorr
Trix Academy Detroit
Unionville Sebewaing Area Elementary School Unionville
Wells Township School Arnold
Whitmore Lake Elementary School Whitmore Lake
Willow School Lansing
Wise Academy Dearborn Heights
Yale Elementary School Yale
Building Healthy Communities: Middle School Program City
Aspen Ridge Middle School Ishpeming
Cesar Chavez Academy Middle School Detroit
Creekside Intermediate School Dexter
DeWitt Junior High School DeWitt
Forest Park School District Crystal Falls
Gladstone Junior High School Gladstone
Grass Lake Middle School Grass Lake
Hamady Middle School Flint
Hamilton Middle School Allegan
Hope of Detroit Academy Detroit
International Academy of Flint Flint
Pickford Public Schools Pickford
Southwest Detroit Community School Detroit
Superior Central School District Eben Junction
Suttons Bay Middle School Suttons Bay
Wakefield-Marenisco School Wakefield
Washington Middle School Calumet

Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness


Adams Elementary Zeeland
Alice M. Birney Middle School Southfield
Arno Elementary School Allen Park
Ashley Elementary School Ashley
Barryton Elementary School Barryton
Bay City Academy Bay City
Belmont Elementary School Belmont
Bendle Senior High School Burton
Bentley Elementary School Canton
Boyne Falls Public School Boyne Falls
Bozymowski Center Elementary Warren
Bozymowski Center Secondary School Sterling Heights
Central Middle School Port Huron
Chapman Elementary School Rockwood
Charlton Heston Academy St. Helen
Clara B. Bolen Elementary School Tawas City
Clarkston Elementary School Clarkston
Detroit Enterprise Academy Detroit
Doyle/Ryder School Flint
Dudley STEM Battle Creek
Dundee Middle School Dundee
Edison Elementary School Fort Gratiot
Evergreen Academy Kalamazoo
Field Elementary School Canton
Fort Gratiot Middle School Fort Gratiot
Freeman School Flint
Fruitport High School Spring Lake
Fruitport Middle School Fruitport
Garfield Elementary School Port Huron
George R. Carter Middle School Clio
Gobles Elementary School Gobles
Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Ctr. Wyoming
Goodrich High School Goodrich
Goodrich Middle School Goodrich
Greyhound Intermediate School Eaton Rapids
H.D. Crull Elementary School Port Huron
H.T. Smith Elementary School Fowlerville
Hampton Elementary School Bay City
Handley School Saginaw
Harrison Center Port Huron
Holland Woods Middle School Port Huron
Holmes Foundation Academy Flint
Hope Academy of West MI Charter School Grand Rapids
Houghton Lake Adult Education Houghton Lake
Indian Woods Elementary School Kimball
Ishpeming Middle/High School Ishpeming
Jessie Rouse School Saginaw
Kalamazoo Central High School Kalamazoo
Keewahdin Elementary School Fort Gratiot
Keith Bovenschen School Warren
Kindergarten Discovery Center Benton Harbor
Kolb Elementary School Bay City
Lake City Elementary School Lake City
Lakeview Elementary School Negaunee
Lamora Park School Battle Creek
Lighthouse Education Center Saint Joseph
Lincoln Elementary School Zeeland
Long Lake Elementary School Traverse City
Ludington High School Ludington
Luther C. Klager Elem. School Manchester
Madison Elementary School Madison Heights
Manton Elementary Manton
Marcellus Elementary School Marcellus
Morse Elementary School Troy
Neithercut Elementary School Flint
Oakridge Upper Elementary School Muskegon
Oaktree Elementary School Goodrich
Onsted Elementary School Onsted
Orchard View Early Elementary Muskegon
Our Lady of the Lake School Prudenville
P.D. Graham Elementary School Westland
Palmer School Grand Rapids
Parchment Middle School Parchment
Peace Lutheran School Utica
Pennfield North School Battle Creek
Pennfield Purdy School Battle Creek
Pierce School Davison
Pinewood School Jenison
Polk Elementary School Dearborn Heights
Port Huron High School Port Huron
Port Huron Northern High School Port Huron
Post Franklin Elementary School Battle Creek
PREP Academy Adrian
Pullman Elementary School Pullman
Raupp School Lincoln Park
Redford Service Learning Academy Redford
Reid Elementary School Goodrich
Ridge Wood Elementary School Northville
Ring Lardner Middle School Niles
Roosevelt Elementary School Port Huron
Rutherford Winans Academy Detroit
Schall Elementary School Caro
Shields Elementary School Saginaw
South Elementary School Watervliet
South Range Elementary School South Range
St. Germaine Elementary School St. Clair Shores
St. Joseph Elementary School Battle Creek
St. Mary School Charlotte
St. Peter Lutheran School Hemlock
T.R. Davis Elementary School Dollar Bay
Three Oaks Public School Academy Muskegon
Valley Center School Comstock
Verellen Elementary School Essexville
Woodland Park Academy Grand Blanc

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 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan received the J.D. Power Award for “Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Michigan.”  For more company information, visit
bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.