On Tuesday, UnitedHealth Group announced its plans to award $1,000 grants to two Lexington-based organizations that have developed programs to fight childhood obesity in the community.
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. The organization awards grants to schools and youth-focused, community-based programs demonstrating 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.
Tates Creek Middle School received a $500 grant to help carry out its “Tight as Titans” initiative. This project will fund a fitness room for students to use while the school gymnasium is renovated. When the renovation is complete, the fitness room will be incorporated into the school’s new health and fitness curriculum.
Division of Youth Services also received a $500 grant to fund Fayette Get Movin’, a four-week exercise boot camp for middle and high school students in Fayette County. The boot camp will consist of aerobics, Wii Fit and other physical activities. Participants will also learn about healthy eating habits and about how to prepare low-calorie snacks.
UnitedHealth Group collaborated with Youth Service America (YSA) to develop the UnitedHealth HEROES program. A list of all the 2010-2011 grant winners is available online at http://www.ysa.org.
“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. As people become more aware of health issues through health literacy and advocacy initiatives, they will make positive changes to live better lives,” said Paul Brophy, executive director, UnitedHealthcare Kentucky.
“We believe these grants will empower teams of students to collaborate with teachers and community leaders to develop their own awareness of how to make their schools and neighborhoods healthier. In reviewing the grant applications, we were inspired by the creative ideas young people came up with to help fight obesity and encourage healthier living,” said Brophy. “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.”
LEX18.com - Lexington, KY.