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The Highmark Foundation Awards $4 Million in Highmark Healthy High 5 Grants to Two Nonprofit Organizations

Physical activity, nutrition and self-esteem programs receive expansion


PITTSBURGH, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Highmark Foundation recently awarded $4 million in grants to two nonprofit organizations through its Highmark Healthy High 5 initiative. The grants will support a nutrition and physical activity program and a self-esteem initiative, both available throughout Highmark's service area.

"Increased awareness of physical activity, nutrition and self-esteem can help encourage healthy and positive behaviors in children," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "Through these grants, we are helping to expand these proven programs to touch the lives of even more children and promote healthier lifestyles to a broader audience."

The following grants were awarded under the Highmark Foundation's Highmark Healthy High 5 initiative.

Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center (York County)

The Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center (Byrnes HEC) was awarded $3.5 million over two years to support the development and expansion of the Web site throughout the communities served by the Highmark Foundation. plans to build a community component and create an e-commerce element within the site to support long-term sustainability. provides free interactive and educational resources to inspire thousands of students with positive messages and dynamic Web-based material that encourages healthy eating and increased physical activity. The site also provides teachers and parents with student health science activities and lesson plans.

Through the grant, the expanded site intends to reach at least 250,000 students by 2009.

The mission of Byrnes HEC is to educate and inspire people of all ages to make healthy choices. Byrnes HEC works to be a leading resource of innovative, high-quality effective health education.

The Second Mile (Centre County)

The Second Mile (TSM) was awarded $479,068 over two years to support the expansion of the Intensive Challenge Program, a week-long residential camp that promotes self-confidence, enhances positive life skills and improves self-esteem in at-risk children ages 8 to 15 years old.

Each summer, school counselors and social service workers refer troubled youths to attend the Intensive Challenge Program and take part in team building, problem solving and goal setting curriculum. The youths also learn healthy living behaviors and positive social attitudes to help them set personal, academic and service goals for the coming school year.

The grant will allow TSM to hire qualified evaluators to administer and gather data from their newly implemented Harter self-esteem tool, transport students to and from their home areas to the residential sites, expand the number of program participants and include an additional week of residential programming in 2009.

The mission of The Second Mile is to challenge young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing opportunities for them to develop positive life skills and self-esteem as well as by providing education and support for parents and professionals addressing the needs of youth.

About Highmark Healthy High 5

Highmark Healthy High 5 is a five-year, $100 million initiative of the Highmark Foundation aimed to reverse the current trends in children's health and to promote lifelong healthy habits in children throughout the communities served by the Highmark Foundation.

Highmark Healthy High 5 addresses five critical children's health issues -- including nutrition, physical activity, self-esteem, grieving and bullying -- through education, communications, volunteerism, grants and programming. For more information on Highmark Healthy High 5, visit

SOURCE The Highmark Foundation
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