3-Point Play ProgramSM Will Address Childhood Obesity --
Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation have launched an 18-week nutrition and exercise competition between students in grades three through five at the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School. The competition, named the 3-Point PlaySM, was created in 2009 to help combat childhood obesity. It is the third such competition sponsored by Aetna, and the first in the Washington, D.C., area.
The 3-Point Play program is made possible through grants provided by Aetna and the Aetna Foundation.
The 3-Point Play program has three main components that encourage kids to be more physically active; eat healthier; and involve their families in making lasting healthy lifestyle changes. The program's success is based on three measures: pre- and post-"Fitnessgrams" administered to each student; active program participation; and helping the school meet requirements of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act of 2010. Fitnessgrams include a body mass index (BMI) measurement, a cardio-respiratory test, and strength and flexibility evaluation.
"Aetna believes in promoting healthy lifestyles," said Tom Grote, president of Aetna's Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., markets. "And that promotion starts in our schools. After seeing the alarming statistics of childhood obesity in this country, we felt it was important to develop a program that would combat this trend."
The 498 participating students will accumulate points by using a pedometer to help monitor steps taken and calories burned, completing family homework assignments and participating in health awareness activities on line. Teachers, physical education instructors and technologists at the school will administer the curriculum and track the points.
"Childhood obesity is a critical challenge facing children in the Washington, D.C., community. Coming up with innovative ways to help kids learn to make healthy food choices and keep active is extremely important," said Kent B. Amos, founder and CEO of Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School. "The 3-Point Play program will provide several ways to engage children and their parents in fun and educational activities that focus on nutrition and physical activity."
Parents, teachers and students can visit www.communityvitality.com and click on the "school" icon to participate in on-line games, announcements, healthy tips and videos. The site features messages from basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, which reinforce the curriculum taught in the classrooms.
The program is an element of the "Team up for a Healthy Tomorrow," initiative, which was announced by Aetna and Magic Johnson Enterprises in January 2008. The principal goals of the three-year collaboration are to create a dialogue and action in diverse urban and suburban communities to help people understand the health resources available to them and encourage them to take a more active role in their health and wellness. In addition, the initiative seeks to give a credible voice, via a recognized and respected leader, to major issues in health care such as the need to improve health literacy and racial and ethnic inequality in health care, thereby empowering people to ask questions, seek answers and create a demand for high-quality health care that respects their cultural preferences. For more information, see www.communityvitality.com.
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation is a national health foundation that promotes wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. Our giving is focused on addressing the rising rates of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. Originally founded in 1972 as the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc., Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $379 million in grants and sponsorships since 1980. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered nearly 2 million hours since 2003. For more information visit www.aetnafoundation.org.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.