ING U.S. Awards $125,000 in Grants to Combat Childhood Obesity
(3BL Media) Atlanta – September 18, 2012 – ING U.S. is helping educators combat childhood obesity. Through the 2012 ING Run For Something Better® School Awards, financial services leader ING U.S., in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is awarding grants to help thousands of children discover a love for running and create a foundation for living a healthier lifestyle. Fifty schools from 27 states across the nation will receive up to $2,500 in grant money to support an existing school-based running program or start a new one. The grants will help schools introduce students in kindergarten through eighth grade to the benefits of running and making physical activity a top priority. To see the list of 2012 grant recipients, visit: http://www.orangelaces.com/site/index/get_your_school_involved.
The 2012 ING Run For Something Better School Awards support a minimum of an eight-week school-based running program that concludes with a culminating running event in celebration of the students’ achievements. A $1,000 grant is awarded immediately, with additional funds awarded based on the participation in the program. Schools can download unique running lesson plans developed by NASPE and based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004) to serve as the foundation of the running program or to supplement an existing school program. Other program materials, such as sample eight-week training plans, distance logs and a running journal will aid in the development of running skills and preparation for a culminating running event.
“ING U.S. is committed to supporting education and offering a solution to educators who are dedicated to helping their students get active and reduce childhood obesity,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and head of the ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. “Childhood obesity is an important social issue, and we realize schools need additional resources to help fully engage their students in enjoying and leading healthy lifestyles. Through ING Run For Something Better school-based running programs, we are empowering children across the nation to take charge of their health.”
Grant awards were available in all states and the District of Columbia to elementary and middle schools. More than 300 schools applied for the 2012 grants. A NASPE review board made up of physical education teachers and administrators reviewed all applications and selected this year’s recipients. In 2011 more than 4,500 students ran a total of 136,754 miles — the equivalent to running almost 53 times across the U.S.
“NASPE is thrilled to once again be a part of this exciting opportunity for children by assisting schools in providing another outlet for their students to be active,” said Cheryl Richardson, senior director of programs at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), NASPE’s umbrella organization. “Through programs such as the ING Run For Something Better grant opportunity, we are helping children achieve the minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity they need every day and we are introducing them to activities that they will enjoy doing for a lifetime.”
Research has shown running is a great physical activity for promoting good health and self-confidence. It qualifies as a “life sport” — one in which participants are likely to maintain over their life spans. Running helps build strong bones and muscles, contributes to fitness and lends itself to personal goal-setting. Additionally, recent research has shown students who are healthy and physically active are more likely to be motivated, attentive and successful academically.
To learn more about the ING Run For Something Better School Awards and download program materials, visit www.naspeinfo.org/run.
About ING U.S.
ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit http://ing.us.
About the ING Run For Something Better®
ING Run For Something Better® helps fund school-based running programs in an effort to combat childhood obesity before it ever begins. Linked to ING U.S.’s commitment to education, the program helps introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. Nationally, ING U.S. has committed over $4 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, more than $1.7 million has also been raised by individual donors through a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contributions. When someone donates $10 or more to ING Run For Something Better, ING U.S. will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. One hundred percent of the net proceeds go to ING Run For Something Better fitness programs. For more information, visit www.orangelaces.com.
The preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a nonprofit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE’s 15,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, administrators, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare professionals in these areas. NASPE seeks to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high-quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD). For more information, visit www.naspeinfo.org.