Healthy kids effort gets mojo from Anthem grant

9 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Let’s Go! Aroostook, a program of Aroostook County Action Program/Healthy Aroostook, received a $50,000 grant last week from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to help promote healthy living for children across The County.

“We are delighted by this generous gift,” said Carol Bell, project director for Healthy Aroostook. “Thanks, in part, to the support of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Let’s Go! Aroostook will continue its work with schools, after-school programs, child care centers and healthcare practices to promote healthy living and overall health and reduce children’s obesity rates.”
“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is committed to the health and well-being of our friends and neighbors in communities across the state,” said Dan Corcoran, plan president and general manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.
“As part of our Foundation’s Healthy Generations program, we are focusing our efforts on critical health issues to help people live healthier lives. Since there’s no better place to start shaping healthy lifestyles than among our youngest generation, we look forward to our partnership in improving the lives of children across The County.”
The check was presented this week to Let’s Go! Aroostook at the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville, which is one of the local schools that has embraced Let’s Go! Aroostook. In 2014, the school was recognized as a Gold Level Site of Distinction for implementing the top five Let’s Go! Strategies, including: 1) Provide healthy choices for snacks and celebrations and limit unhealthy choices; 2) Provide water and low-fat milk and limit or eliminate sugary beverages; 3) Provide non-food rewards; 4) Provide opportunities for children to get physical activity every day; and 5) Limit recreational screen time.
“How appropriate it is for us to be here today for the check presentation,” said Bell. “Dr. Levesque Elementary School is a shining example of how even a small school can work together with programs like Let’s Go! Aroostook to make meaningful impact on the overall health of schoolchildren and the community at large.”
After the check presentation, children and teachers were on hand to demonstrate their “Recess Rocks,” where children engage in physical activities while listening to upbeat music.
Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play. The effort is committed to changing environments and policies at child care sites, schools, out of school programs, health care practices, workplaces and communities. The program’s multi-sector approach, daily 5-2-1-0 message (five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks) and 10 evidence-based strategies are used to effect change across the state of Maine.
Let’s Go! Aroostook is a part of Healthy Aroostook, an ACAP program. For more information please contact the agency’s Presque Isle office at 764-3721 or visit www.acap-me.org.