DETROIT, Aug. 10, 2017— Michigan K-12 schools are invited to apply for an innovative program that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with the necessary tools to create a healthier school environment. Schools now can apply for Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness, one of the three programs under the successful Building Healthy Communities program. It is an evidence-based, comprehensive, school-wide initiative that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with tools and resources to improve student health while creating a healthier school environment. 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, University of Michigan, Wayne State University Center for Health and Community Impact and Action for Healthy Kids. “The Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program supports our ongoing commitment to investing in the future of Michigan kids,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Strategy, Government and Public Affairs for Blue Cross. “Knowing that children spend a majority of their day in school, it’s crucial that they are in an environment that encourages healthy habits inside and outside of the classroom.” All public, charter and private nonprofit schools in the state are eligible to apply for the program. The deadline for applying is 5 p.m. on Sep. 30. Applications must be submitted online at buildinghealthycommunities.arewehealthy.com. Interested schools can join an informational webinar on the program Aug. 30 or Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. For more information on the program or to register for the webinar, visit bcbsm.com/buildhealth. Selected schools will be announced in October. The program will begin on Oct. 23, 2017. Building Healthy Communities has since been embraced by more than 500 schools across the state, and has helped over 230,000 students develop better habits and live healthier lives. Building Healthy Communities supports Blue Cross’s 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, reaching more than 230,000 children. For more information on Blue Cross’s ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter. 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.
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