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Pennsylvania Department of Health Announces Active Schools Grant Recipients for 2010-11 School Year

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Forty Pennsylvania elementary schools have been selected to receive an Active Schools grant for the 2010-11 school year, Secretary of Health Everette James announced today.  

"All children need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to build strong bones and healthy hearts," said James. "By implementing evidence-based programs that get every child active for 30 minutes a day, participating schools are making the health of children a top priority. The schools are also working with parents and communities to give kids more opportunities to be active after school and on weekends."

The Active Schools Grant Program is designed to increase physical activity during the school day and allows schools to implement evidence-based physical activity programs. The program helped more than 16,500 middle school students in 26 counties in its first year. In its second year, it 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 grades K-6 are overweight and another 16.6 percent are obese, which means just under 32 percent of those students are either overweight or obese. This rate declined slightly from the previous year, marking the first decline in BMI in many years.

"While any improvement in BMI is welcome, there remains much more that parents, schools, health providers, and local communities can do to encourage children to adopt active lifestyles," said James. "This is an important team effort that will pay lifelong dividends for children."

Funding for Active Schools is made available through a public-private partnership between the departments of Health and Education and six foundations and health insurers. Schools receive a $5,000 grant from the Department of Health's federal Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant and an additional $10,000 from a match-funding organization in their region.

Participating partners include Independence Blue Cross, Highmark Foundation's Healthy High 5 initiative, Capital Blue Cross, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania's Blue Ribbon Foundation, the UPMC Health Plan and United Healthcare.

The Active Schools Grant program implements evidence-based physical activity programs that meet the federal guidelines of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity. Some activities include brisk walking, playing tag, jumping rope, playing soccer or swimming.

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

For more information on the Active Schools Grant Program, visit the Department of Health online at www.health.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Holli Senior, 717-787-1783

Editor's Note: The following is a list of 40 Pennsylvania elementary schools that will receive Active School grants for the 2010-11 school year:

Allegheny County

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School

Armstrong County

West Hills Primary School

Beaver County

Riverside Primary Center

Berks County

Conrad Weiser West Elementary School

Cambria County

Cambria Heights Elementary School

Carbon County

Weatherly Area Elementary School

Centre County

Bellefonte Elementary School

Chester County

Rainbow Elementary School

Clearfield County

Harmony Elementary School

Clinton County

Dickey Elementary School

Robb Elementary School

Woodward Elementary School

Crawford County

Hydetown Elementary School

Dauphin County

Enders-Fishersville Elementary School

Delaware County

Darby Township Elementary School

Delcroft Elementary School

Harris Elementary School

Kindergarten Center

Sharon Hill Elementary School

Woodlyn Elementary School

Erie County

Iroquios Elementary School

Fayette County

Central Elementary School

Fulton County

Southern Fulton Elementary School

Lancaster County

Buchanan Elementary School

Carter & McRae Elementary School

Hamilton Elementary School

King Elementary School

Washington Elementary School

Wharton Elementary School

Lawrence County

Neshannock Memorial Elementary

Luzerene County

Memorial Elementary School

Lycoming County

Loyalsock Valley Elementary School

Lyter Elementary School

Monroe County

Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Montgomery County

Myers/Elkins Park Elementary Schools

Philadelphia County

Alliance for Progress Charter Elementary School

Somerset County

Turkeyfoot Valley Elementary School

Westmoreland County

Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School

Bell-Avon Elementary School

York County

Dallastown Area Intermediate School

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health

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