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TMCNet:  Four New Grants for Boys & Girls Clubs in Georgia

[December 21, 2012]

Four New Grants for Boys & Girls Clubs in Georgia

ATLANTA --(Business Wire)--

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) are continuing their work to improve the health of kids in the Peach State by expanding BGCA's signature healthy lifestyles program, Triple Play (News - Alert).

Today, BCBSGa Foundation announced that Boys & Girls Clubs of Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield Counties and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta are the recipients of $10,000 start-up grants to implement Triple Play programming.

Additionally, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Cook County Area and Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens are receiving $5,000 Triple Play Healthy Habits grants to provide programming focused on teaching the importance of healthy eating habits and being physically active.

Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul, is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's proven health and wellness program. Supported by founding sponsor Coca-Cola and co-sponsor, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation, the program encourages Club members to eat healthier (mind), become more physically active (body) and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul).

"Changes in eating habits and lifestyles have resulted in a generation of kids and teens that are less healthy than their parents were at the same age," said Morgan Kendrick, president of BCBSGa. "We're out to change that, and through the Triple Play program we're helping kids learn how fun it can be to live healthy, active lifestyles."

The $30,000 in start-up and supplementary grants announced today are part of an ongoing three-year, $5 million commitment from BCBSGa's parent company foundation to BGCA to promote healthy lifestyles. Successes from the past two years include: breaking the Guinness World Record for most people doing "star jumps" (a.k.a. jumping jacks) at the same time for two consecutive minutes at multiple locations; and conducting the Triple Play Summer Games in Atlanta with Olympians Dominique Dawes, Gail Devers, Evander Holyfield and Jackie Joyner-Kersee serving as coaches and mentors to BGCA youth.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1980. This decreased health status means millions of American children and teens are at increased risk for lifelong health challenges, such as heart disease and diabetes. The Triple Play program is working to turn this trend around.

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.

The success of Triple Play has also received the following honors:

  • Named "a Program that Works" by the Promising Practices Network (PPN) website in fall 2011. PPN offers research-based information to validate the effectiveness of programs that serve children and families, and is often referred to as a "model program" or "best practices" site. The website is run by the RAND Corporation, a national think tank comprised of more tan 150 researchers and consultants who specialize in child health, juvenile justice, education, child care, labor and demographics.
  • Winner of the "Best Partnership" award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center in December 2012, in recognition of the work BGCA and BCBSGa's corporate foundation are doing to improve youth health at Clubs across the country.

BCBSGa is committed to addressing health disparities and improving public health throughout the Peach State. Through its State Health Index - a compilation of public health measures - BCBSGa and the BCBSGa Foundation continually work to identify the issues most in need of attention and direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas. Promoting youth health and addressing the long term health risks posed by increasing rates of childhood obesity are a major focus of the BCBSGa Foundation.

About Triple Play

Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul was launched in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services with support from The Coca-Cola Company to encourage kids to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships. A two-year study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. The study found that 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. To date, Triple Play has helped more than one million kids learn the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition. In 2011, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation joined BGCA and Coca-Cola as a Triple Play sponsor. Learn more about the program at www.bgca.org/tripleplay.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled�young people�most in need�to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in�cities, towns, public housing�and on Native American lands�throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide.�They�provide a�safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs�on a daily basis�during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation.�The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about�Blue Cross�and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook (News - Alert) at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa or visit our YouTube (News - Alert) channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.


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