New York, NY (May 23, 2012) — EmblemHealth and ChildObesity180 today announced eleven winners of their nationwide innovation contest, including schools within Washington Heights / Inwood and Harlem. The competition was designed to identify and reward the most creative, impactful and scalable school-based programs and technologies to promote children's physical activity.
With the support of EmblemHealth, The Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), a ChildObesity180 initiative, launched the competition in February 2012 in a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America. First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged participation in the competition with a call for applications via a video message.
New York Area "School Programs" Category Regional Winner of $25,000:
Beating more than 400 applicants, the "Just Move" program in Washington Heights / Inwood and Harlem, N.Y. was named one of the nine finalists. The program reaches more than 4,300 students in pre-K-8th grade within eight schools in Washington Heights / Inwood and Harlem - neighborhoods that are underserved and disproportionately inactive. The program consists of in-classroom physical activity breaks that are highly integrated with classroom lessons. Rather than relying on third-party content, students create their own instructions for bursts of activity ranging from stretches and poses to body resistance. "Just Move" participating schools include: PS 4, PS 102, PS 128, PS 132, PS 152, PS 180, PS 206 and PS 210.
"We are keenly aware of the impact childhood obesity has on one's future health and well-being and are excited that eight schools have joined together in the community we serve to address this serious issue," says William A. Gillespie, MD, Chief Medical Officer, EmblemHealth. "We congratulate these regional winners and cheer them on as finalists in the national competition. Their innovative approach to encourage physical activity is commendable and we look forward to the continued success of the "Just Move" program."
Teachers, schools, and school districts submitted their school-based physical activity programs to the "School Programs" category, while the "Technology Innovation" category invited developers, inventors and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how existing or emerging technologies could be used to inspire kids to be physically active. A panel of experts representing various fields judged the entries. A complete list of judges is available at www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org.
Other "School Programs" Category Regional Winners of $25,000 each:
- Corona-Norco Unified School District — Norco, Calif. — West Region
- El Paso Independent School District — El Paso, Texas — Southwest Region
- Hilton Head Island Elementary — Hilton Head, S.C. — Atlantic Region
- Meadowview Elementary School — Farmington, Minn. — Midwest Region
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools — Miami, Fla. — Southeast Region
- Natick Public Schools — Natick, Mass. — Northeast Region
- Overland Avenue Elementary School — Los Angeles, Calif. — West Region
- Red Hawk Elementary — Erie, Colo. — Central/Mountain Region
"Technology Innovation" Category Grand Prize Winners of $50,000 each:
Each of the regional "School Programs" category winners will receive $25,000 to further advance health and wellness programming in their school or district. On June 13th in Washington, DC, two of these nine winners will be chosen as National Winners and their award will increase to $100,000 each. The two "Technology Innovation" Grand Prize winners will receive $50,000 each to advance their technologies.
Working closely with leading researchers and expert staff at Tufts University and ChildObesity180, National "School Program" and "Technology Innovation" winners will participate in pilot studies to expand their programs and technologies to schools of different types, sizes and geographies across the country.
EmblemHealth, Inc. provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 2.8 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. We offer a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states.
Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) is an initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization committed to fostering cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation's time. The ChildObesity180 membership is comprised of national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors who are using their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national strategy to prevent childhood obesity. The organization is chaired by Peter Dolan, former CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Leading Tufts University obesity researcher Dr. Christina Economos serves as vice-chair and director and Dr. Miriam Nelson is the co-director. Founded in 2009, ChildObesity180 in conducted in collaboration with Tufts University. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation are strategic funders. The Innovation Competition is funded by a consortium of the nation's leading health plans.