Miami Children’s Museum has been selected as a grantee in the Aetna Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program and was awarded a $100,000 community grant to implement the Miami Children’s Museum Healthy Families program which will provide families from South Florida’s under-served communities with education on important nutrition information and lifestyle choices that can be easily implemented to improve health.
The Cultivating Healthy Communities program awarded over $2 million in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations in 14 states to advance the Aetna Foundation’s mission to improve health at the local level. Grantees are working on projects that will address social determinants of health such as improving access to healthy foods, promoting biking and physical activity and reducing exposure to air and water contaminants. The grantees were chosen based on the strength of their strategies to improve the health of their communities in at least one of five domains: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.
The series of ten classes will educate families on how to make healthy and affordable food choices, provide practical skills that enhance a healthy lifestyle such as cooking and menu building and teach simple, accessible exercise and self-care techniques and games such as yoga and dancing. Families with children enrolled in early learning centers within our nearby surrounding community such as Head Start and Early Head Start will be eligible to participate. The Healthy Family Program classes will be held at the Museum and will consist of two 60-minute classes at each session: nutrition lessons/healthy meal preparation demonstrations and physical fitness activities. The project comes at a critical time for our South Florida community as only 36.1% of high school students engage in regular physical activity and 27.9% of teens are overweight or obese as reported by the 2013 Miami-Dade County Community Health Report Card.
“Thanks to the Aetna Foundation, we are able to bring this program to the children of South Florida, educating and empower families to make healthier choices which will enable these children to make better choices in the future, as adults” said Deborah Spiegelman, CEO/Executive Director, Miami Children’s Museum.
“The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “By identifying community-specific challenges, and unique ways to combat them, this year’s grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute towards the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity.”
This funding addresses the need to improve opportunities for all Americans—regardless of income, education or ethnic background—to take an active role in living healthier lives. For more information on the Cultivating Healthy Communities program visit, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.
About Miami Children’s Museum
Founded in 1983, Miami Children’s Museum is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to play together, learn, imagine and create. The 56,500-square-foot facility includes 17 galleries, classrooms, parent/teacher resource center, 200-seat auditorium and outdoor exhibits, including a new playground. The Museum offers hundreds of bilingual, interactive exhibits; programs and classes, including special needs classes; Subway restaurant; Kid Smart educational gift shop and learning materials related to arts, culture, community and communication. To learn more about the Museum, please visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.
Miami Children’s Museum receives both private and public funding. The Museum is sponsored in part by the City of Miami; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna (NYSE:AET). As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who volunteered 430,000 hours in 2016 alone. For more information, visit www.aetna-foundation.org.