DETROIT, Nov. 20, 2017— Eighty Michigan schools statewide, representing grades K-12, were chosen to join the Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with the necessary tools to create a healthier school environment. Schools were invited to apply for Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness in August, one of the three programs under the successful Building Healthy Communities program. This program provides students, teachers and administrators with the training, curriculum, equipment, funds, communication tools and external coaches needed to create a healthy school environment that supports a culture of wellness. Step Up for School Wellness is flexible to meet the diverse needs of school buildings across the state. 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. “We are proud to continue our strong partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in further implementing this program statewide,” said Nick Lyon, Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Together with our various and knowledgeable partners, we’re committed to the investments we are making in the lives of Michigan’s children and to creating a healthier future for our state.” Participating schools choose at least one physical activity and at least one nutrition component from the following: classroom physical activity breaks, active recess, quality physical education, walk-n-run fun, healthy out-of-school time, healthy smoothies, smarter lunchrooms, healthy parties and celebrations and nutrition education. "The Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness programming has empowered students in participating schools across the state to start thinking about their wellness choices more and practice making healthy choices during the school day,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Strategy, Government and Public Affairs for Blue Cross. “We are working together with schools to teach future generations the importance of healthy eating and daily physical activity to establish habits that can last a lifetime.” Building Healthy Communities has been embraced by more than 600 schools across the state, helping over 270,000 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 11 years, Blue Cross has given more than $6.5 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 the Building Healthy Communities: Step up for School Wellness program include:
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 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.