SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), National PTA® and Discovery Education, announced today their Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, Smart from the Start. An early childhood education grant program, Smart from the Start, offers critically important healthy living resources to preschoolers and their families across the nation.
Smart from the Start is the latest brainchild of the Together Counts™ initiative by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Discovery Education. Together Counts encourages educators, students and families to live active and healthy lives in an effort to address childhood obesity nationwide.
Indra Nooyi, Chairman of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo said, "Smart from the Start is a great example of the progress that can be achieved when diverse stakeholders join forces to support common goals. This program will have a meaningful impact on the lives of young people and help address important issues facing our communities."
Smart from the Start will award up to 47 grants, ranging from $20K to $2.5K. Each grant will serve up to 500 families, community members, students, and faculty. Over the first two years of the program, up to 47,000 people will be enabled to make life-changing decisions for a healthier lifestyle.
"Smart from the Start and our Pre-K Energy Balance programming gives us the chance to reach more than 24 million preschoolers in the United States," said Lisa Gable, President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation." This program is a new addition to the $42 million multi-year financial commitment already made by our members to provide the tools parents and teachers need to promote active, healthy lifestyles."
The Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of HWCF founding member PepsiCo, today announced it will take an active role in promoting the program to more than 2 million consumers through its social media and online properties – demonstrating a continued commitment to fueling healthy families. Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, General Mills, Inc., Nesquik and other HWCF partners will also promote the program through their social channels with an estimated reach of over 3 million consumers.
Launching this fall, Smart from the Start will support and bolster nutrition and active lifestyle initiatives for preschoolers, their families and communities by offering:
- A grant program. This comprehensive and competitive awards program targets schools, parents and the community. With support from the HWCF coalition of organizations – most specifically National PTA – schools and communities across the country will be awarded grants and other prizes for the implementation of healthy living initiatives at the preschool level. Through our existing Together Counts site and National PTA's wide network of local, council and state PTA's as well as 14,000 Title I schools with Pre-K programs, the Smart from the Start grant program will award $500,000 in grants, training and awards.
- Pre-K curriculum. Featuring developmentally-appropriate activities within two broad thematic units, Me and My Choices and Give It a Try!, the curriculum is designed in a flexible grab and go format. The Pre-K curriculum allows educators to integrate lessons and activities intermittently throughout the year or as a 20-day thematic unit. Each of the new lessons and activities are also aligned to a range of popular preschool health programs including Head Start, NAEYC, WIC, SNAP-Ed and NASPE among others.
- Opportunities for community engagement with HWCF nonprofit partners. This will complement the grant and award program. These nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to win cash prizes in exchange for supporting schools or communities in the grant application process. Nonprofit partners like Girl Scouts of the USA and Yellow Tractor will also be engaged in ensuring grant applicants are aware of turnkey programs that can be incorporated into applications and modified to fit unique Pre-K programs.
"Teaching children and families about the importance of energy balance, nutrition and physical activity is critical to help them make good decisions now and set the stage for a healthy lifestyle into adulthood," said Otha Thornton, National PTA President. "PTAs play an important role in educating, engaging and bringing together families, schools and communities, and we are pleased to partner with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Discovery Education to empower them with tools and resources to inspire active, healthy living."
Smart from the Start is part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Discovery Education's joint Together Counts initiative. With the help of TogetherCounts.com, schools and families nationwide gain free access to funds and dual language resources that help to build healthy environments and reduce childhood obesity. The Together Counts initiative is a national campaign that promotes active, healthy living through energy balance – balancing the calories we consume with the calories we burn. The program focuses its efforts on two critical areas – families and schools. It provides tips, tools and incentives for parents, teachers and school health professionals to use in encouraging energy balance.
For additional information on Smart from the Start, visit http://www.togethercounts.com/at-school/pre-k. To learn more about the Together Counts program, visit www.togethercounts.com or the Spanish site at www.juntoscontamos.com.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
About Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-led organization, is a national, multi-year effort designed to help reduce obesity–especially childhood obesity–by 2015. It's a first-of-its kind coalition that brings together more than 240 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and professional sports organizations. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) promotes ways to help people achieve a healthy weight through energy balance–calories in and calories out. It focuses its efforts on two critical areas—families and schools – through their Together Counts™ campaign.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education www.discoveryeducation.com.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.
SOURCE Discovery Education