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Pennsylvania Schools Accept the Challenge to Fight Childhood Obesity

  • Published: 2010-10-04 : Author: Highmark Healthy High 5
  • Synopsis: Schools will be able to strengthen and enhance their physical activity and nutrition programs by providing a variety of different activities.

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In an effort to address the serious health reality of childhood obesity, Highmark Healthy High 5 has taken its $8 million School Challenge Grant program to a new level by providing $650,000 in Super+ School Challenge grants to 13 Pennsylvania schools.

"Through these grants, schools will be able to strengthen and enhance their physical activity and nutrition programs by providing a variety of different activities," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "Schools will also engage parents to be a part of this effort as students continue to carry on their healthy habits at home."

Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, awarded $50,000 Super+ School Challenge grants to these thirteen schools so they can continue to provide successful programming that focuses on the nutritional and physical activity needs of students.

In Pennsylvania, one in three children are considered obese, according to BMI (body mass index) standards. This recent contribution will impact nearly 8,000 Pennsylvania elementary, middle and high school students during the next two years. Some of the measurable outcomes that the schools will expect to see include improvements in endurance, strength and flexibility in student fitness levels; increases in the minutes per week that students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity over an extended period of time; and positive changes in eating habits through available nutritional choices.

Through new programs funded through the Super+ School Challenge grants, the participating schools will be challenged to continue to provide the lasting, systemic changes that improve the nutrition and the quality and quantity of physical education among students.

The following schools have received a Highmark Healthy High 5 Super+ School Challenge grant for 2010-2012:

Avonworth Middle School, Allegheny County

Serra Catholic High School, Allegheny County

Gateway Middle School, Allegheny County

Laurel Highlands High School, Fayette County

South Hanover Elementary, Dauphin County

Mount Carmel Jr., Sr. High School, Northumberland County

Neshannock Jr., Sr. High School, Lawrence County

New Kensington-Arnold District Elementary, Westmoreland County

Northeastern High School, York County

Northern Lebanon Middle School, Lebanon County

Plainfield Elementary, Northampton County

Park Forest Middle School, Center County

Titusville Middle School, Venango County

For more information about the Super+ School Challenge and ways you can help engage our community's youth in better health, visit www.highmarkhealthyhigh5.org

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