The Michigan Department of Community Health has invested in the Building Healthy Communities program. This program is a school-wide initiative that aligns with the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan and works with schools, and their communities, to teach kids healthy habits and address childhood obesity. "The Michigan Department of Community Health is proud to join forces with our Michigan partners to support and expand the successful Building Healthy Communities program in the fight against childhood obesity," said MDCH Director James K. Haveman. "We know that by creating healthy habits earlier in life, we have a stronger chance of continuing those habits into adulthood. This program provides our youth with the tools for building their healthy futures, and effectively tackling the issue of obesity to make Michigan a healthier, stronger state." Child health experts have called for schools to provide healthier school environments that support nutrition education, access to nutrient rich food and beverages, physical activity and physical education. Each of these go hand-in-hand with the Building Healthy Communities program. By joining together to provide funding for this program, BCBSM and MDCH will reach more students and schools across the state. “The Building Healthy Communities program provides real value for the monetary contribution because it’s an investment that can help families get healthier, improve quality of life and reduce health care costs for taxpayers,” said State Rep. Matt Lori of Constantine, who played a key role in identifying funds for MDCH to support the program. “We’re bringing together private organizations and the public sector to use the best research and methods so we can make progress in the fight against childhood obesity. This is an investment that will pay off for Michigan and help us build healthier futures for our families together.” A second application period has been opened for schools to apply for the Building Healthy Communities program for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year. All public, charter and nonprofit private schools in Michigan are encouraged to apply for the program by August 20, 2014. Schools interested in applying for the Building Healthy Communities program can join an informational conference call on August 5 at 1 p.m. or August 12 at 1 p.m. To join, call 800-462-5837 and enter pass code 210301#. Those interested in applying can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517-325-4595 for additional information. Schools receiving the program will be announced in September. MDCH now joins BCBSM, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, University of Michigan, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Wayne State University in the effort to instill healthy habits with Michigan children through the Building Healthy Communities program. For more information on the Building Healthy Communities program and application process, visit www.bcbsm.com/buildhealth. For more information about the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan, visit www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan. Photo credit: US Department of Education
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