Friday, September 23, 2011

Do Good by Being Well

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The first ever Be Well Walk will be held October 2nd, in Austin, TX, and we’re very proud to say that our Center was selected as an inaugural partner. So what does that mean? When you register for the Walk you’ll pay $25 and get to pick one partner organization to receive 100% of that money as a contribution. When you complete the walk, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will give you a sweet Be Well Walk t-shirt and water bottle and then match your $25 contribution.

How cool is that?! When you walk you’ll support your own health and the health of your community by supporting local organizations. So if you choose to have your contribution go to our Center/CATCH program, how will we use it?

We believe that by fostering collaborative health efforts between families, schools and communities, we can reach the goal of 15 by 15: reducing childhood obesity to 15% by the year 2015. So we’re introducing the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living Community Collaborative for Child Health.

Guiding principles of the Collaborative for Child Health include a focus on local action—even with small steps, —an embracing of a culture of learning, and a recognition that local decision making and action hold the potential to drive positive change from the bottom up. Currently, community leaders from the education, religious, and nonprofit sectors have come together with faculty and staff from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living to form a steering committee for the Collaborative.

The Collaborative for Child Health has two initiatives that will be launched in the 2011-12 school year. The first will allow middle school student and adult mentor teams to apply for mini-grants of up to $500 to identify, plan and implement action around healthy eating and physical activity in their respective schools and communities. In additionThe second, a separate grant initiative will provide ten lower income elementary schools with funding to enhance their playgrounds with colorful and engaging playground markings which have been found to increase children’s activity during recess time. Funding from the Be Well walk will provide direct support to schools for local action around physical activity and healthy eating promotion.

You can support the Collaborative by participating in the Be Well Walk and designating your contribution to go to the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living/CATCH Program.

We hope to see you there!

For more information about the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living Collaborative for Child Health, please contact: Emily Hines, MPH, at or Andrew Springer, DrPH, at