$1 Million Response from ChildObesity180 to First Lady’s Call

children running and being active

$1 Million Response from ChildObesity180 to First Lady’s Call

October 02, 2013

ChildObesity180 gives one thousand schools $1,000 each to reverse childhood obesity and get children moving
(October 2, 2013) BOSTON, MA – The Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University, today named 1,000 schools across America as Acceleration Grant recipients, awarding $1,000 each -- $1 million total -- to answer our First Lady’s call to get kids moving.

The grants are the latest component of an aggressive national plan to encourage schools to increase students’ opportunities for physical activity by putting simple, low-cost and innovative programs into action.

In last year’s nationwide Innovation Challenge, ASAP searched for effective and scalable ways for schools to boost students’ physical activity, and identified three programs with great potential for easy replication and affordable implementation. The new grants will help kick-start one of these three models at each school:


The 100 Mile Club gives elementary school students a challenge: Run, jog, or walk 100 miles over the course of the school year. 
BOKS emphasizes aerobic exertion and team spirit in structured group play before school.
CHALK/Just Move gets students moving right at their desks, with in-class physical activity.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s call for children to be more physically active is based on research showing physically active and fit children tend to have enhanced academic achievement. Today’s announcement from ChildObesity180 is an answer to her call.

When kids have early, positive experiences with physical activity it sets a positive direction for life,” said Mrs. Obama.  “Schools are a great place for children to boost their physical activity,” she added. 

ChildObesity180 created ASAP as one of its critical initiatives to reverse childhood obesity.  Today’s announcement is the next step in their multi-year plan to get more children moving in school. 

The Cigna Foundation provided lead funding for this stage of the ASAP school grants. “Cigna has been committed to ChildObesity180 from its inception," said David Cordani, President and CEO, Cigna. "We're strong believers in their emphasis on diverse program options that inspire kids to be physically active and learn healthy habits, and in their grassroots approach to driving change -- one community, one school, one classroom at a time." Additional funding was provided by Kaiser Pemanente.

Christina D. Economos PhD, vice chair and director of ChildObesity180 and New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said “These 1,000 award-winning schools are exemplary in their commitment to provide more physical activity.  It is a pleasure for us to support their efforts!”  A leading researcher in childhood obesity prevention, Dr. Economos added: “Educators, parents, nurses, coaches and children themselves are increasingly telling us that more opportunities for physical movement for children in school are needed.  We hope these ChildObesity180 ASAP $1000 grants to 1000 schools will help jump-start a much needed return of more physical activity for all our school children.” 


About ChildObesity180
ChildObesity180, based at Tufts University, is an organization committed to cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Using an evidence-based approach and business-minded practices, ChildObesity180 is developing and carrying out innovative initiatives to prevent childhood obesity. ChildObesity180 is comprised of national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors who use their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national effort. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation are strategic funders.

For more information, visit ChildObesity180.org.