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New Online Portal Helps Schools Assess and Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity Programs
CHICAGO (September 21, 2015) – Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK) announces the 292 recipients of School Grants for Healthy Kids for the 2015-2016 school year, provided through funding by CSX Corporation. Awarded in 13 states, the grants aim to improve student knowledge, attitudes and behaviors around physical activity, while also engaging parents to support physical activity at home. Grants may also include a healthy eating component.
The grants, which range from $500 to $2,500, can be used to provide in-school assistance, funding for physical education and active recess, refurbishing of play spaces, classroom energizers and brain breaks, support for walking and running clubs, and before- and after-school programs that introduce students to the value of an active lifestyle.
“We are inspired by the accomplishments that schools have made as a result of the ongoing partnership between CSX and AFHK,” said Tori Kaplan, assistant vice president, corporate social responsibility, CSX. “CSX works to give back in the community ‘Beyond Our Rails,’ and one of our focus areas is supporting the health and wellness of our communities and employees. We are thrilled to join AFHK in helping ensure more students get access to physical activity programs during the 2015-2016 school year as a result of these grants.”
Schools funded this year will be among the first to utilize AFHK’s new online School Portal featuring the 2014 School Health Index (SHI), an online assessment tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to guide school-based obesity prevention and health promotion efforts. AFHK has worked closely with the CDC to offer an abbreviated online version of the SHI that addresses two health topics: nutrition and physical activity. It also includes resources, reporting options, an online action plan, and a USDA Healthier US School Challenge readiness estimate.
As outlined in a School Impact Report on physical activity recently released by AFHK, research shows that students who are physically active perform better on tests and have improved ability to organize thoughts and make decisions . However, a 2014 U.S. report card on physical activity for children and youth, released by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance and the American College of Sports Medicine, found that only 25 percent of children ages 6 to 15 meet the national recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
“Schools receiving grants are getting a leg up on creating healthier school environments where kids get to be physically active every day without compromising, and in fact enhancing, educational instruction,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO, Action for Healthy Kids. “The funding from CSX connects schools with much-needed resources for their wellness initiatives and acknowledges the impact of physical activity and good nutrition on children’s health and learning.”
The School Grants for Healthy Kids are part of more than $1.4 million in school breakfast and physical activity grants awarded by Action for Healthy Kids in the 2015-2016 school year. For a complete list of schools funded by CSX, visit www.actionforhealthykids.org/CSX. To learn more about AFHK’s impact on physical activity in schools, visit www.actionforhealthykids.org/Reports. Schools interested in AFHK’s new online School Portal may visit www.actionforhealthykids.org/SchoolPortal.
About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids® is a nationwide grassroots network supporting school-based healthy eating and physical activity improvements that increase academic success. With funding opportunities, expert technical assistance and our flagship program, Game On, we mobilize schools, administrators and parents to develop healthy school environments for children. To learn more about the ways our 85,000+ volunteer network is helping to make Every Kid Healthy™, visit us at www.ActionforHealthyKids.org, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/act4healthykids) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Act4HlthyKids).
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).
Action for Healthy Kids
1 Donnelly JE, Lambourne K. Classroom-based Physical Activity, Cognition, and Academic Achievement; Prev Med 2011; 52 Suppl 1:S36.
2 Davis CL, Tomporowski, PD, McDowell, JE, Austin, BP, Miller, PH, Yanasak, NE, Allison, JD, and Naglieri, JA. Exercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children: A randomized, controlled trial; Health Psychology 2011; 30(1): 91-98.