Snyder, Blue Cross… in Madison Heights Touting Nutrition… (video)

Governor Snyder, Blue Cross Among Those in Madison Heights Touting Nutrition Program (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 6, 2014)

Governor Rick Snyder joined Blue Cross Blue Shield and other partners at Madison Elementary School Thursday to introduce Street-Eatzz-Adexpansion of the Building Healthy Communities Program. Over 200 kids in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade came to see the presentation in the school’s gym.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) started the program in 2009 to fight childhood obesity and lead children to a healthier future. It’s grown into a partnership between BCBS and the:Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan Fitness Foundation, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, University of Michigan and Wayne State University’s Center for School Health.

Thanks to a new partnership with MDCH, the program is expanding to include 58 schools, and to provide breakfast in the sidebar01sponsorclassroom to 32 schools, including Madison.

BCBS Executive Vice President Lynda Rossi was on hand to explain the program. “We all understand that in order to fight obesity we have to start with education. The best way to do that is in our schools and in our communities. Our program aims to make sure kids are exposed to better choices.”

Building Healthy Communities is a comprehensive, school-wide program with access to healthy food and beverages, classroom lessons, physical activity and creating an environment where making the healthy choice is also the easy choice.

“This is an important topic we’re talking about, this is about you and your health,”JudyPalmer01 Governor Snyder said. He asked the youngsters about what sports they like to play, and shared with them his ABC’s of Michigan agriculture and healthy choices. He noted that Michigan is #2 for apple production, behind the State of New York. It is #1 for blueberries and #1 for tart cherries.

In a press conference following the student presentation, Snyder said “For kids in particular, we want to get them started right so that’s where this public/private partnership’s wonderful, to really emphasize the eating right and the exercise piece.”

To Madison Elementary Principal David Hurnevich, having healthy students is an important part of education. He welcomed the BCBS program, stating “This reaffirms what we already know, that good things are happening in the school district, that good things are happening with our our kids. Good things are happening in Madison modern natural baby inprogressElementary School because we have a theme, and our theme is that we’re going to serve families… And some of the ways we serve families is through our food program, through our physical education program, and making sure our kids and their families have [programs like] Building Healthy Communities.”

Oakland County schools that are part of this year’s program include Jefferson International Academy in Waterford, Madison Elementary in Madison Heights, Pepper Elementary in Oak Park and Pierce Middle School in Waterford.

While the students enjoyed having the Governor in for a visit, others were not as excited. Teachers, union members, parents and others gathered outside to protest Snyder’s funding priorities, especially in regard to education. For more on the protest, see [link to be added Sunday evening].

For more on BCBS Building Healthy Communities, see http://www.bcbsm.com/index/about-us/why-choose-us/healthy-communities/grants-and-contributions/building-healthy-communities-program.html.

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