Students at Cass City Elementary School had the chance to attend a special assembly with Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford on Tues., May 5, as the top prize for winning Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s #MIKidsCan Contest. His visit focused on healthy habits and educating students on how to grow up to be strong, healthy adults. Hosted by Fox 2 Detroit Anchor Amy Andrews, the assembly featured a question and answer session where the kids quizzed Stafford on nutrition, exercise and other health topics. Stafford talked to students about the importance of having a balanced diet, sharing that his favorite healthy food is spinach. "It's important to me, Blue Cross, your teachers and your families that you stay healthy," Stafford told the packed gymnasium. "I want you to be healthy kids, get good grades and feel good, so make sure you get outside and play as much as you can." Second grader Trent Patrick challenged Stafford to a push-up competition, and student Kacee Gray demonstrated the importance of stretching by doing the splits with the quarterback.
How does Stafford stay healthy when he's not on the field? The star athlete told students he enjoys taking his dogs for a walk and drinking plenty of water. Last Fall, Blue Cross, in partnership with Stafford, challenged Michigan kids ages 7-14 to a create a two-minute video or submit a photo and short essay answering the question, “What’s your favorite way to get moving and be active?” Winners were decided by a week-long public vote in which more than 7,200 votes were cast online. Students at Cass City Elementary overcame strong competition to win the video portion and score the top prize, a special visit from Stafford. More than 50 entries were submitted and, of the total votes cast, the school’s entry received more than 2,400 votes. Andrew Hetzel, vice president of corporate communications for Blue Cross, praised the winners for their hard work. “Teaching kids healthy habits is a community effort, and Blue Cross is proud our winners had such strong support from their schools, family and friends throughout the contest period.” Here's a look at Cass City Elementary School's winning video:
The #MIKidsCan Contest is an extension of 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 10 years, Blue Cross has given more than $6 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state, reaching more than 100,000 children. For more information on Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow the #MIKidsCan hashtag on Twitter. To see more photos from Stafford's visit to Cass City Elementary, visit A Healthier Michigan on Flickr.