Building Healthy Communities Program

We pay a high price for childhood obesity in our state. It affects children's 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:

Building Healthy Communities has components ranging from healthy eating and physical activity to creating a healthy, supportive school environment. The comprehensive, school-wide program is 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 Michigan Department of Community Health, 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 108 schools and more than 42,000 students.

Middle school program

The middle school program is a partnership that includes the Michigan Department of Community Health and the University of Michigan. The partnership implements Project Healthy Schools, a program that was created in 2004. To date, Project Healthy Schools operates in 42 schools and has reached more than 23,000 students. 

Breakfast in the classroom grant

We've partnered with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan to help Michigan schools get more students eating breakfast at school. In 2013, we awarded grants to 75 schools and helped more than 35,000 students start the school day well-nourished and ready to learn. More elementary, middle and high schools will be able to participate in the program during the 2014-2015 school year.

Here's a list of the schools that participated in the 2013-2014 Building Healthy Communities program.

We're accepting elementary and middle school program applications for the 2014-2015 school year until Aug. 20, 2014.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School students playing HOPSports.

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

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