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Pennsylvania Schools Receive Grants for Increasing Physical Activity

  • Published: 2010-09-22 : Highmark Inc..
  • Synopsis: Nine schools in Pennsylvania Receive $15,000 Grants for Increasing Physical Activity in school

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Nine schools in Pennsylvania Receive $15,000 Grants for Increasing Physical Activity in school.

Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, is partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to provide nine Pennsylvania schools with Active Schools grants in the amount of $15,000 to support their interest and dedication in offering programs that address the nutrition and activity needs of students.

The grants include $5,000 from the Department of Health's federal Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant and an additional $10,000 from Highmark Healthy High 5.

"These schools are demonstrated leaders because they have a commitment in getting children to incorporate more physical activity into their school day," said Highmark Foundation President, Yvonne Cook. "The Active Schools grant is a great way to recognize and reward schools for their programs and help them sustain the progress made so far."

Active Schools grants are designed to increase physical activity during the school day and allow schools to implement evidence-based physical activity programs. Some activities include brisk walking, playing tag, jumping rope, playing soccer or swimming. The program helped more than 16,500 middle school students in 26 counties throughout Pennsylvania in its first year. In its second year, the grants will serve more than 17,000 elementary students.

Body Mass Index, or BMI, data submitted by the schools to the Department of Health indicates 15.22 percent of students in kindergarten through sixth grades are overweight and another 16.6 percent are obese. This rate declined slightly from the previous year, marking the first decline in BMI in many years.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows physically active children perform better in school and have higher attendance rates.

The following schools will receive an Active Schools grant:

  • Cambria County
  • Cambria Heights Elementary School
  • Clearfield County
  • Harmony Elementary School
  • Crawford County
  • Hydetown Elementary School
  • Erie County
  • Iroquois Elementary School
  • Fayette County
  • Central Elementary School
  • Fulton County
  • Southern Fulton Elementary School
  • Lawrence County
  • Neshannock Memorial Elementary School
  • Somerset County
  • Turkeyfoot Valley Elementary School
  • Westmoreland County
  • Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School

About Highmark Healthy High 5

Focused on children's health promotion, Highmark Healthy High 5 is an initiative of the Highmark Foundation designed to improve the health of children and adolescents ages 6-18 by providing them with the tools and practices needed to make informed decisions about living healthier lives. Through a $100 million commitment, Highmark Healthy High 5 addresses five critical issues - nutrition, physical activity, self-esteem, bullying prevention and grieving - by working with educators, parents and non profit leaders to reach children and adolescents at school, at home and within their communities. More information can be found at or by calling 800-789-1726.

Related Information:

  1. Childhood Obesity Information and Related Health Issues
  2. Lack of Exercise Key to Increased BMI in Children
  3. School Lunches Linked to Childhood Obesity

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