As childhood obesity rates continue to climb in America, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to instill healthy habits in children. The foundation provided two grants totaling $6,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica (SMBGC) to help teach youth healthy habits for their bodies and minds. Both grants are part of $66,000 in grants to various Boys & Girls Clubs in California to expand Triple Play programming, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s health and wellness program proven to demonstrate how eating right, keeping fit and forming positive relationships add up to a healthy lifestyle.
Anthem Blue Cross Foundation provided a $5,000 Healthy Habits grant to SMBGC, which is used to continue to teach Club youth the importance of healthy eating habits and being physically active. SMBGC also received a $1,500 grant for a Gamesroom Tournament to bring Club members together for fun competitions that challenge their minds and build friendships.
A part of Triple Play, the Healthy Habits program includes curriculum-based and cooking classes to encourage healthy habits while explaining the importance of nutritious food – with ingredients coming from SMBGC’s newly built edible garden. In addition, Club staff conducts healthy eating and body image discussions in the teen program. The Club constantly promotes healthy eating choices by providing nutritious snacks and meals to members. SMBGC’s Healthy Habits programming will continue into the summer.
Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, SMBGC also held its First Annual Triple Play Gamesroom Tournament on Nov.19, 2011. The day was filled with fun, competition, sportsmanship, and friendship. Members of SMBGC’s Main, Pacific, and JAMS Branches and members from BGC of the Foothills (Monrovia) competed in Ping Pong and Pool for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals. The overall winner of the festival, BGC of the Foothills, was awarded the Triple Play Championship banner.
“We’re thrilled to have the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation as a co-sponsor of the Triple Play program and thank them for the work they are doing to make sure that we are continuously able to bring the program to our youth,” says Aaron Young, President and CEO of SMBGC. “Anthem Blue Cross is truly committed to improving the health of kids and families, and the grants provided to Boys & Girls Clubs make an immediate, positive difference in the lives and futures of our Club members.”
A recent study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 who attend Boys & Girls Clubs showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. Triple Play kids increased to 90 percent of the federally recommended amount of daily exercise, which is 60 minutes a day for children, while their peers outside the program decreased to 78 percent.
All grants provided by Anthem Blue Cross are part of a three-year, $5 million commitment from Anthem Blue Cross’ parent company foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote youth health.