The Wellmark Foundation Supports
After-School Program to Prevent Obesity in Children
July 8, 2008
(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Wellmark
Foundation awarded a $105,000 two-year grant to the Iowa Health
Foundation to pilot a national childhood obesity prevention
program in after-school programs in the West Des Moines and
Perry Community School Districts. Blank Children’s Hospital
will administer the grant, which will implement work planned
through a previous Wellmark Foundation capacity-building grant
received in 2007.
The Obesity Prevention Program will pilot the after-school
curriculum of the Coordinated Approach to Children’s
Health (CATCH) in cooperation with Kids West in West Des Moines
and PACES in Perry, says Julia Richards Krapfl, obesity prevention
program coordinator at Blank Children’s Hospital. “CATCH
is an evidence-based, dynamic program that educates children
about making healthy lifestyle choices regarding nutrition
and exercise,” says Richards Krapfl.
More than 1,100 children are projected to participate in
the pilot program at the two school districts. According to
Richards Krapfl, CATCH incorporates daily exercise through
more than 300 easy to follow games and activities utilizing
balls, jump ropes, beanbags, cones, hoops and more. The program
also includes a weekly nutrition lesson and teaches children
about healthy food choices, portion control, preparation methods
and ingredients. CATCH program implementation in other communities
throughout Iowa is a long-term goal of the project.
In addition to implementing the CATCH after-school curriculum,
the Obesity Prevention Program will also use various
community outreach strategies, such as Web site development,
postcard distribution, monthly electronic news updates and
individual assistance to children and families as needed.
Additional collaborating organizations include Iowa State
University and the Center for Advocacy and Outreach at Blank
Children’s Hospital. For more information on the Obesity
Prevention Program, contact Julia Richards Krapfl at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-241-3317.
The Wellmark Foundation has provided nearly $14.7 million
to fund 406 health-related grants in Iowa and South Dakota
since 1997, including $1,739,233 this cycle. “The Wellmark
Foundation collaborates with non-profit and governmental organizations
in Iowa and South Dakota to positively impact the health outcomes
of individuals and communities in our states,” says
Matthew McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation. “We
are happy to fund this grant that will instill healthy exercise
and nutrition choices in youth,” says McGarvey.
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation
created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Due to the Foundation’s
recent significant support toward disaster relief efforts,
the timeline for the second 2008 community responsive grant
cycle has been modified. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are now
due on September 23, 2008. Learn more about this funding opportunity
during a grant applicant teleconference on July 21, 2008.
For teleconference and LOI details, visit the Foundation’s
Web site at www.wellmark.com/foundation.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation
are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield