Santiago Creek School (Santa Ana) – “Living a Healthy Lifestyle” – The Santiago Creek School received a $1,000 grant to fight childhood obesity in Santa Ana. During the past two years, students designed projects to improve student’s eating habits and increase their daily physical activity. This year’s project focuses on living a healthy lifestyle. Participants will investigate why children locally are making poor food choices and lack exercise. After analyzing the problem, the students will create a plan to help others make better food choices and increase exercise.
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TEN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE GRANTS AIMED AT HELPING FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
- UnitedHealth HEROES grants support innovative California programs that help children get and stay healthy
- California grants part of national effort to help fund schools and community organizations
- HEROES is a community-based, service-learning initiative with national nonprofit Youth Service America
CYPRESS (March 9, 2011) – UnitedHealthcare of California has awarded $6,000 in grants to ten Southern California youth-led organizations to develop programs to fight childhood obesity in their communities. The grants will help create community-based programs that encourage healthful habits among California residents.
The UnitedHealth HEROES program is especially important in California, where approximately 30.5 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are considered obese or overweight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, approximately one in three children are considered obese or overweight, putting them on the road to lifelong chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
“Prevention is a key to reducing the cost of health care in California, and that includes a renewed focus on ending the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said California State Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee. “I applaud UnitedHealthcare for its critical investments in these successful community-based programs and taking steps to ensure our youngest children reach adulthood at a healthy weight.”
Grant recipients in Southern California include:
- Chaminade College Preparatory (Canoga Park) – “Pump It Up For Life!” – Chaminade College Preparatory received a $500 grant for students to develop and document a healthy self-training program during a two-month period. The students will develop and produce a book focused on physical fitness and then share it with local elementary students, as well as other schools in the local area.
- SuperFood Drive (Cardiff by the Sea) – “SuperKids for SuperFoods” – SuperFood Drive received a $500 grant to recruit a group of up to 10 high school students to volunteer at a local urban garden and a local food bank. The students will sort and distribute food, as well as receive training in hunger awareness and nutrition. After that, the students will educate their peers, parents, local businesses and grocery stores on the importance of donating healthy, non-perishable food items.
- Together We Rise (Chino) – “Together We Rise” – Together We Rise received a $500 grant to engage high school and college students in sports camps that promote fitness and volunteerism targeted toward foster children in the Chino area. The grant helps support an on-going effort by Together We Rise to make a positive impact in the lives of foster children.
- LA CAUSA Inc. (Los Angeles) – “Cause Against Obesity” – LA CAUSA Inc. received a $500 grant to work with students involved with East Los Angeles after-school programs. The program has three components: education, physical and community. The young people will learn about healthy foods and how to stay active, as well as an array of cooking ideas they can take home to their parents.
- Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley (Monrovia) – “I like to MOVE IT, MOVE IT!” – The Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley “Volunteen Program” received a $500 grant to gather volunteers for four hiking MOVE IT events. At each hiking event, teen volunteers will learn about the childhood obesity epidemic in our country and the importance of physical fitness, as well as the number of calories in the foods that they eat and the average number of calories burned by hiking the trail.
- Dailard Elementary School (San Diego) – “Eat, Feet, and Heart” – Dailard Elementary School received a $1,000 grant to create a farmer’s market, which will be part of the school’s nutrition education. The DADS group (Dads Assisting Dailard Students) will coordinate an after-school program promoting healthy cooking. The students will also organize a triathlon and a “jogathon” to promote daily jogging. Children will volunteer at the local Epilepsy run on April 17th.
- School Of Global and Community Health (SCGH) – Claremont Graduate University (San Dimas) – Gettin’ it Right at Ramona – The School Of Global and Community Health – Claremont Graduate University received a $500 grant for the (SCGH) college students to be “Healthy Eating Educators.” They will teach middle school students at Bonita United School District about healthy living habits. A series of five classes will be taught at Ramona Middle School’s after school program. The students will update a blog, website and use flip cameras to document their progress, as well as hold an open house to showcase the videos about healthy eating.
- Santiago Creek School (Santa Ana) – “Living a Healthy Lifestyle” – The Santiago Creek School received a $1,000 grant to fight childhood obesity in Santa Ana. During the past two years, students designed projects to improve student’s eating habits and increase their daily physical activity. This year’s project focuses on living a healthy lifestyle. Participants will investigate why children locally are making poor food choices and lack exercise. After analyzing the problem, the students will create a plan to help others make better food choices and increase exercise.
- FOCUSfish, INC (Topanga) – “FOCUSfish Physical Education Program: The Evolutionary Development Of Physical Education” – FOCUSfish, a nonprofit, received a $500 grant to help more students participate in physical fitness programs. By delivering physical education classes during the school day, as well as sports and physical education programs after school, FOCUSfish will help teachers and schools provide enriching, innovative exercise in their curricula, while also keeping students stay active and healthy in body, mind and spirit.
- YMCA (Ventura) – “After the Bell TV Show” – The YMCA received a $500 grant that will enable junior high and middle schools students to film a video focused on living a healthy lifestyle, including food choices and exercise. The video will be filmed in front of a live audience. “Y” staff will research healthy food choices and exercise practices, and the students will act and serve as the crew: scripting, filming and directing. The show will be distributed free of charge to the neighboring middle schools, featured on screens around the “Y” and will be an available resource to children and youth members.
UnitedHealth Group collaborated with Youth Service America (YSA) to develop the UnitedHealth HEROES program, now in its third year. A list of all the 2010-2011 grant winners is available online at www.ysa.org/HEROES
“The response we have received across the country to the UnitedHealth HEROES grant program has been extraordinary,” said Steve Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America. “It reflects the shared YSA–UnitedHealth Group commitment to enhancing our nation’s health, education and youth leadership.”
The grants are part of the UnitedHealth HEROES program, a service-learning, health literacy initiative designed to encourage young people, working through educators and youth leaders, to create and implement local hands-on programs addressing childhood obesity. Grants were awarded to schools and youth-focused, community-based programs that have demonstrated a clear understanding of the health risks associated with pediatric obesity; proposed creative solutions to fighting obesity in their neighborhoods and communities; and can be easily implemented, scaled and measured.
“With UnitedHealth HEROES, we are helping young people take action to improve their overall health and quality of life in a way that’s not only educational, but beneficial for their communities,” said David Anderson, Southern California UnitedHealthcare Chief Executive Officer. “As people become more aware of health issues through health literacy and advocacy initiatives, they will make positive changes to live better lives. The UnitedHealth HEROES grants are part of UnitedHealth Group’s overall commitment to help stem the rising tide of obesity, and related chronic health conditions like diabetes”
HEROES service-learning grantees will participate in YSA’s Semester of Service, an extended service-learning framework that links prominent service events such as MLK Day in January and Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) in April. During a Semester of Service program, young people spend the “semester” – a 12- to 14-week period of time – addressing meaningful community needs connected to intentional learning goals and academic standards. Each grantee project will culminate in an event on GYSD, the largest service event in the world.
More information about the UnitedHealth HEROES program and service-learning is available at www.ysa.org.
Also, according to America’s Health Rankings®, if left unchecked or untreated, obesity will affect 43 percent of adults by 2018 and will add nearly $344 billion in that year alone to the nation’s annual direct health care costs, accounting for more than 21 percent of health care spending. America’s Health Rankings is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state analysis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.
About Youth Service America
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.
UnitedHealthcare (www.unitedhealthcare.com) provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to individuals, public sector employers and businesses of all sizes, including more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. The company organizes access to quality, affordable health care services on behalf of approximately 25 million individual consumers, contracting directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals to offer them broad, convenient access to services nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, OptumHealth, Ingenix and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.
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