Inside General Mills
|Sept. 17, 2010
|| General Mills Corporate Communications |
Raising the bar on kids' fitness
The General Mills Foundation has launched the One Million PALA Challenge, a new initiative to help get American kids moving.
|Track and field gold medalist Allyson Feliz, also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, shows children at Washington, D.C. school how to have fun exercising with hula hoops. |
PALA is the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, and it has been helping students lead healthier and more active lives for many years.
General Mills is PALA’s largest corporate partner and has supported PALA since its inception. General Mills and PALA are already providing tens of thousands of PALA certificates to students, but the new initiative raises the bar, said Jeff Peterson, General Mills Foundation director.
"Inspiring one million young people to earn their certificates is a game-changer for us, for the Council and, most importantly, for our nation's youth," Peterson said.
To earn a PALA, a student needs to “move” for an hour a day, five days a week for six weeks. Activity can range from jumping rope to swimming, running to shooting hoops.
The General Mills Foundation will fund up to one million PALA certificates for students across the United States. Partners in the initiative include the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the Amateur Athletic Union, and Box Tops for Education.
Speaking at Maury Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, noted that childhood obesity remains a significant problem, and that “living a healthy active lifestyle is the key to having a healthy weight – and a healthy life.”
|NBA New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul teaches students the benefits of active lifestyles. Paul joined General Mills in launching the “One Million PALA Challenge,” which encourages children across the country to lead healthier and more active lives.|
To help reach the goal of a million certificates earned, Box Tops for Education volunteer coordinators across the nation will partner with gym teachers to hold Family Fitness Nights at 8,000 schools. At these events, students and their families will learn about good nutrition and about fun, easy ways to be physically fit.
Prior to the launch at Maury Elementary School, the initiative was highlighted at a President’s Council session in Washington, D.C. Event participants included U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Let’s Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper.
The Let’s Move! Campaign, recently launched by first lady Michelle Obama, seeks to end childhood obesity within a generation. Earlier this month, Obama called for a doubling of the number of children who earn a PALA and pledged to participate herself.
At an elementary school event held in conjunction with the launch of the One Million PALA Challenge, several world-class athletes – including New Orleands guard Chris Paul and track and field gold medalist Allyson Felix – demonstrated skills and encouraged students to get active.
Dominique Dawes, gold medal winning gymnast and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, said during the demonstration that, “I’m thrilled to participate in the One Million PALA challenge to promote healthy living."
Inside General Mills