Building Healthy Communities Program
Engaging Elementary and Middle Schools Through Partnerships
We pay a high price for childhood obesity in our state. It affects childrens' health and school performance.
So we founded Building Healthy Communities in 2009 to fight childhood obesity and lead children to a healthier future. It's grown into a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the:
- Center for School Health in the College of Education at Wayne State University
- Michigan Fitness Foundation
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan
- University of Michigan
We focus on elementary and middle school children because healthy lifestyle habits are formed at an early age. Building Healthy Communities is a comprehensive, school-wide program designed to:
- Educate students through classroom lessons
- Create an environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice
- Encourage students to practice lessons learned in the classroom
- Provide opportunities for physical activity
- Improve access to healthy food and beverages
Elementary school program
Today, the elementary program has evolved into a partnership that includes the Center for School Health at Wayne State University, Michigan Fitness Foundation and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. To date, the elementary school program has reached 83 schools and more than 35,000 students. The program will reach an additional 20 schools, impacting more than 8,000 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
Middle school program
The middle school program comes out of a partnership with the University of Michigan and a program created in 2004 called Project Healthy Schools. To date, Project Healthy Schools operates in 33 schools and has reached more than 18,500 students. Building Healthy Communities will impact an additional eight schools, reaching more than 4,500 students in the 2013-2014 school year. The project will reach 20 new schools in the next three years.
We've chosen 28 schools to participate in the 2013-2014 program. We'll be accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year in January. Select the link below to learn more.
A Building Healthy Communities school spotlight
The recess cart full of playground equipment allows Gaudior Academy in Inkster to have an "Active Recess". The students, kindergarten through eighth grade, enjoy the fun physical activity the cart provides.
This resource is lead and used by students. Members of the Student Leadership team created a schedule to coordinate being responsible for bringing the cart out, overseeing it, and returning it into the building.
"Every piece of equipment is used every recess, by everyone, and it is great to see everyone playing. We have children playing 4-square and using the long jump ropes. They even had me jumping!"
— Rosemarie Gonzales, principal, Gaudior Academy