Snyder Introduces School Program to Fight Obesity


DETROIT— Gov. Rick Snyder today joined partners of the Building Healthy Communities program to announce that nearly 60 schools across the state who will receive the innovative program, a private-public initiative designed to fight obesity and improve childhood wellness through school-based programming. The announcement was made at an event at Madison Elementary School in Madison Heights, a new recipient of the program.

Building Healthy Communities, a partnership between the Michigan Department of Community Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, University of Michigan, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Wayne State University, is an initiative that encourages children to adopt healthy habits and, with the addition of the recipients for the 2014-2015 school year, will reach more than 100,000 students in more than 275 schools since its inception in 2009.

The program is an evidence-based, comprehensive, 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. An additional component of the Building Healthy Communities program is a breakfast in the classroom grant which 32 schools will receive.

“The State of Michigan and Department of Community Health are pleased to partner with so many communities and schools across the state to help our children make healthier choices,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “We congratulate these 58 schools for securing this program. They are showing initiative and leadership in the effort to reduce childhood obesity and we applaud them.”

The state and all Building Healthy Communities partners are committed to improving children’s physical health, increasing academic success and helping stem the growing economic and healthcare burden of childhood obesity in Michigan. Today, one in three Michigan children is overweight or obese.

“Lifelong healthy habits start at a young age,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Blue Cross, the largest funder and founder of the program. “A healthier Michigan is a driving mission of our company, and we are excited about the expanded opportunities that our new partnership brings in impacting positive change for students across the state.”

Since 2005, BCBSM has invested more than $6 million in childhood obesity prevention initiatives, like Building Healthy Communities, to provide school-based programs to improve the health habits of Michigan kids. The Building Healthy Communities program also supports BCBSM’s ongoing commitment to children’s health and its new #MIKidsCan campaign — an initiative focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood.

Child health experts have repeatedly called for schools to provide healthier school environments that support nutrition education, access to nutrient rich food and beverages, physical activity and physical education – all pillars used in developing, and emphasized in, the Building Healthy Communities program. By joining together to provide funding for this program, the program will achieve a greater impact, reaching more students in more schools, across the state.

“Michigan dairy farmers understand that hungry kids can’t learn.That is why United Dairy Industry of Michigan supports programs to increase student access to a healthy breakfast in the classroom,” said James Reid, dairy farmer and president of the board for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

The schools receiving the program for the 2014-2015 school year include:

Elementary School Program:
Academy of International Studies, Hamtramck
Albion K-8 Community School, Albion
Aspen Ridge Elementary School, Ishpeming
Bennett Elementary School, Detroit
Cole Academy, Lansing
Columbia Elementary School, Brooklyn
David Ellis Academy West, Redford
Dearborn Academy, Dearborn
Ealy Elementary School, Whitehall
El Sol Elementary, Kalamazoo
Eureka Heights Elementary School, Taylor
Fairview Elementary School, Lansing
Father Marquette Catholic Elementary School, Marquette
Ford Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti
Gier Park Elementary School, Lansing
Greenwood Elementary School, St. Clair Shores
Halecreek Elementary School, Romulus
Holmes Elementary School, Ypsilanti
Hoover Elementary School, Livonia
James and Grace Lee Boggs School, Detroit
Jefferson International Academy, Waterford
Kimball Elementary School, Kimball
Kingston Elementary School, Kingston
Madison Elementary School, Madison Heights
Munger Elementary-Middle School, Detroit
Noor International Academy, Sterling Heights
Pepper Elementary, Oak Park
Posen Elementary School, Posen
Reese Elementary School, Reese
Reeths-Puffer Intermediate School, Muskegon
Salina Elementary School, Dearborn
Soo Hill Elementary School, Escanaba
Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy, Detroit
Saint Robert Catholic Elementary School, Flushing
Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish School, East Lansing
Saint Valentine Catholic Elementary School, Redford
Starr Detroit Academy, Harper Woods
Taylor International Academy, Southfield
Three Lakes Academy, Curtis
Ubly Elementary School, Ubly
Valley View Elementary School, Battle Creek
Waterloo Elementary School, Monroe
Webster Elementary School, Livonia
Winans Elementary School, Lansing
Woodward Academy, Detroit

Middle School Program:

Allendale Middle School, Allendale
Clarenceville Middle School, Livonia
Columbia Middle School, Columbia
Delton Kellogg Middle School, Delton
Dixon Educational Learning Academy, Detroit
Father Marquette Catholic Middle School, Marquette
Johnson Upper Elementary School, Westland
Manistique Middle and High School, Manistique
Michigan Technical Academy Middle School, Redford Charter Township
Pierce Middle School, Waterford
Swartz Creek Middle School, Swartz Creek
Vista Charter Academy, Grand Rapids
White Pine Middle School, Saginaw

Breakfast in the Classroom Grant:

Adams Elementary School, Midland
Bad Axe Elementary School, Bad Axe
Bad Axe High School, Bad Axe
Bad Axe Middle School, Bad Axe
Bendle Middle School, Burton
Bendle Senior High School, Burton
Chestnut Hill Elementary School, Midland
Clintondale High School, Clinton Township
Clintondale Middle School, Clinton Township
Dryden Community High School, Dryden
East English Village Prep Academy, Detroit
Gwinn Middle School, Gwinn
Herbert Henry Dow High School, Midland
Jefferson Middle School, Midland
K.I. Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn
Marshall High School, Marshall
Mason County Eastern High School, Custer
Midland High School, Midland
North Branch Elementary School, North Branch
North Shore Elementary School, South Haven
Northeast Middle School, Midland
Oakwood Intermediate School, Allendale
Paw Paw High School, Paw Paw
Plymouth Elementary School, Midland
Ronald Brown Academy, Detroit
Rudyard Elementary School, Rudyard
Rudyard High School, Rudyard
Siebert Elementary School, Midland
Springport Elementary School, Springport
Universal Academy, Detroit
Woodcrest Elementary School, Midland
Yale Junior High School, Yale