BCBS Grant Presentation July 31

July 15, 2011

ORD - Valley County Health System and the University of Nebraska Extension will receive another $10,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) to fund the "Fit & Lovin' It" program.  A celebration will be held on Sunday, July 31, at 8:30 p.m. at the Valley County Fairgrounds. The presentation will be held after the 4-H Fashion Revue during the Valley County Fair.  The public is invited to attend. 

The grant is made possible through the 2011 BlueHealth Advantage Wellness Grant program.  Since 2008, BCBSNE has awarded a total of $334,000 in wellness grants to 32 organizations in greater Nebraska. The grants help fund initiatives that promote healthy living and enhance the well-being of Nebraska communities.

The "Fit and Lovin' It" program will provide a learning opportunity for area 5th and 6th grade students to increase awareness, encourage skill enhancement and focus of attitude toward individual health.  These include those related to nutrition, physical activity, seat belt use and tobacco.

This will be the second year the program is offered.  In 2010, the Fit & Lovin' It Program was created through the same $10,000 BCBS BlueHealth Advantage Wellness Grant. On January 26, 2010 the inaugural program was held with 250 students, and 40 presenters, teachers and sponsors in attendance. Fourteen schools from an eight-county area participated in this event. Teachers who attended reported that they plan to make changes as a result of the program. Two teachers are going to have healthier snacks and better breakfasts for their families. Another said, "My family and I are going to use seatbelts 100% of the time."

During April and May, Kayla Hinrichs, UNL Extension Educator visited each of the school classrooms who participated in the Fit & Lovin' It.  While at the each of the schools, a follow up lesson was taught to the 250 students.  In addition, daily nutrition and exercise tracking calendars the students had been keeping were collected. Surveys showed that 93% of youth make snacks several times per week, underscoring the need for youth to know facts about nutrition. Nearly half (49%) of the youths indicated that they eat healthier as a result of the Fit & Lovin' It program.

For more information, contact the University of Nebraska Extension at 308.728.5071 or VCHS at 308.728.4347.