Mississippi continues to make progress toward a healthier future, and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is facilitating this progress by providing the resources, funding and leadership needed to continue in our commitment to a healthier Mississippi.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is proud to have provided grant funding to these organizations in 2010:
Delta State University
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation began working with Delta State University in 2009. With support from the Foundation, DSU's "Healthy Campus/Community Initiative" is very successful, from the implementation of a campus-wide tobacco-free policy to the engagement of the community and local schools in wellness activities throughout the year. Beginning with a required health and wellness class for incoming freshmen, many physical fitness and nutrition education opportunities are provided on campus, including a one-half mile walking trail and a variety of fitness classes, with individual counseling available. On campus, individuals and groups are promoted as Health Champions. DSU staff members participate in health and wellness activities such as the "Watermelon Wiggle" and Staff Olympics. In the surrounding Cleveland area, the "Court Street to Cleveland" and "Walk It Out Cleveland" events encourage residents to participate in walking and running for exercise. In the Cleveland area schools, a C.O.R.E. (Centering on Recreation Education and Nutrition) after-school program and the "Fit-Tastic Fridays" program have engaged school children in exercise and nutrition education. Each of these two programs received a Governor's Award from the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education. O.K.R.A. (Outdoor Kids Recreation Activities) summer day camps afford students aged 6 - 11 opportunities to participate in a variety of physical fitness activities during the summer.
Healthiest Hometown 2010 - Hernando
In the inaugural year of the Healthy Hometown program, the City of Hernando received the honor of being named "Healthiest Hometown" for demonstrating exemplary leadership and commitment to the health of its citizens. Mayor Chip Johnson led Hernando's health initiatives and initiated several health-minded ordinances, including a smoking ban ordinance, a Complete Streets policy, and youth helmet ordinance. Schools took a proactive approach with wellness, including a district-wide wellness policy promoting healthy lifestyles. The City of Hernando boasts five major parks and other outdoor and indoor recreation areas for residents to be active, including a morning-led walk by the Mayor at a local track. The city hosts a website to keep residents up-to-date on events and wellness information and utilized social networking by creating a Facebook page for Healthy Hometown news, the Farmers Market, Parks and Recreation programs, and more.
Healthy Hometown 2010 - Tupelo
By taking healthy initiatives to heart and making physical activity a top priority, the City of Tupelo achieved the honor of receiving a "Healthy Hometown" award. The city boasts several local parks and recreational sporting venues, including walking tracks, playgrounds, a golf course, and swimming pool. Fitness in Tupelo (F.I.T.) provided free opportunities for physical activity. Residents teamed up to slim down with "Trim Down, Tone Up Tupelo," the city's version of the TV's "The Biggest Loser." A total of 153 teams competed and lost more than 4,000 pounds. The Mayor's Marathon was the first step taken by the Healthy Tupelo Task Force to improve the health and wellness of the citizens of Tupelo. The Mayor's Marathon was an initiative to get Tupelo residents to walk the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) in a month. The city passed a Complete Streets policy, as well as the first three-foot law in the state to increase safety for pedestrians and cycles. An innovative program called "Health on a Shelf" ensures that residents have access to healthy foods in convenience stores.
Mississippi Food Network
A grant to the Mississippi Food Network helped provide fresh produce to member agencies and their clients. The project included three pilot community gardens, along with nutrition education and cooking demonstrations. Through the project, 400,000 pounds of fresh produce were provided to 180 members agencies in 43 counties. The community gardens produced more than 7,900 pounds of fresh produce and provided more than 500 people the opportunity to learn more about making healthy choices in the foods they eat.
Belhaven University's efforts to help their students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community were enhanced with a grant that provided resources to complete a student wellness center and build two walking trails on campus. Community health seminars featured local and regional health experts who discussed exercises and healthy lifestyle habits.
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors
Showing a commitment to the health of the citizens in Jefferson County, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation awarded a grant that supported the completion of a lighted walking trail where more than 9,700 residents now have a safe and accessible area to exercise.
Magnolia Speech School
Learning the language and skills needed throughout life can be especially challenging for children with hearing or language disorders. Through support from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation beginning in 2006, children at Magnolia Speech School are learning these skills in a creative manner through a physical education program.
Quitman Consolidated School District
Students and faculty at Quitman Lower Elementary School, Quitman Upper Elementary School, and Quitman High School received a grant to build a walking trail used to support the school district's focus on health and wellness. Members of the surrounding community also use the walking trail to improve their health.
Saint Anthony Catholic School
Through a project entitled "Healthy Competition," Saint Anthony Catholic School received a grant to build a walking trail and fitness stations used for incorporating fitness, healthy eating, and active fun for students, staff, and parents.
Shannon Primary School
Members of the Shannon Primary Health Committee identified the need for a walking trail at Shannon Primary School. Through support from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, a walking trail was built that is being used by students, staff, and members of the surrounding community to improve their health.
Clinton Junior High School
Through efforts focused on healthy eating and exercise, students at Clinton Junior High School learned healthy habits that resulted in an overall decrease in the BMI of the students.
Mississippi Arts Commission
Through a project entitled "Moving Toward the Art of Good Health," middle school students across Mississippi learned ballroom and other forms of dance. The program included lessons about healthy foods.
Victory Sports Foundation
Leading by example, more than 200 legislators, as well as State of Mississippi employees participated in an exercise and nutrition education program called Fit 4 Change. The program ended with a 5K at the State Capitol. Participants reported 3,043 pounds lost during the 12-week program.
Amory School District
Through an innovative project called "Sow to Grow," K-12 students have the opportunity to learn about healthy foods through a school garden and greenhouse. Culinary students at Amory High School are using foods from the garden to learn how to prepare healthy meals.
Biloxi Public School District
To support the Biloxi Public School District's changing needs and to ensure that students have access to Project Fit America equipment previously funded by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, the Foundation supported the relocation of the outdoor fitness equipment from Beauvoir Elementary School to Popp's Ferry Elementary School and from Nichols Elementary School to Jeff Davis Elementary School.
Greenville Public School District
To support the Greenville Public School District's changing needs and to ensure that students have access to Project Fit America equipment previously funded by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, the Foundation supported the relocation of the outdoor fitness equipment from Melissa Manning Elementary School to Maddie Atkins Elementary School.
Tupelo High School
With the goal of changing physical education at Tupelo High School from a sports focus to a health and wellness focus for students, faculty, and administrators, the school received a grant to implement a program called PE4Life. At Tupelo High School, this health and wellness program is called Tupelo Fitness Club. The program focuses on exercise skills that individuals can use for the rest of their lives.
Physical Education Conference
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation hosted its 2nd Annual Physical Education Conference in November, bringing together 20 P.E. teachers from around the state. The teachers participated in an educational session and shared best practices for engaging students and making P.E. classes both exciting and effective. Participants also received indoor fitness equipment and curricula to enhance their schools P.E. programs.
- Byhalia Elementary School
- Chambers Middle School
- Como Elementary School
- Davis Magnet School
- Della Davidson Elementary School
- Eastside Elementary School
- Fairview Attendance Center
- George H. Oliver Elementary School
- Hopewell Elementary School
- Jonestown Elementary School
- Lyon Elementary School
- North Jackson Elementary School
- Poplarville Upper Elementary School
- Raymond Elementary School
- Siwell Middle School
- St. Martin Upper Elementary School
- Sumrall Elementary School
- Thomas W. Cardoza Middle School
- Weir Elementary School
- West Kemper Elementary School