Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Grant Makes Educational Programs Possible for Girl Scouts

Oct 02, 2012 Posted in Girl News, Home Page, Newsroom, Press Releases, Volunteer News

GSWPA & Highmark logos

Nancy Irwin
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania
800-248-3355 ext. 1414

Adrienne Londino
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 2, 2012) - Thanks to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA), more girls will be running, jumping, making friends and eating healthy this school year.

GSWPA recently received a $25,000 grant from Highmark in support of the organization’s Healthy Living Educational Programs for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade. In addition to traditional Girl Scout troops, GSWPA works with school districts and community centers to bring the program to girls during or after school, as well as the summer.
Healthy Living Educational Programs respond to the unmet needs of girls by providing supportive and fun programming that sparks an interest in learning. The programs are designed to teach girls the aspects of a healthy lifestyle while providing experiences related to exercise, self-esteem, positive thinking, team work and overall happiness and wellness. Girls who participate will receive a special Highmark patch for their vests or sashes when they complete the program.

“Motivating children to develop healthy habits has always been important to Highmark,” said Mary Anne Papale, Highmark’s director of community affairs. “We support Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania because it provides children with the education tools they need to make healthy choices, such as eating nutritious foods and increasing physical activity.”
The demand for this program is high, as it teaches program participants skills that parents, schools and other organizations want for their children, but may not have the time, resources or expertise to deliver. Healthy Living Educational Programs are core to Girl Scouts’ expertise of equipping girls with positive values and leadership skills.

“Girl Scouts recognizes that physical health, emotional health and self-esteem are all connected,” said Patricia A. Burkart, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania CEO. “Thanks in part to Highmark, we’re able to present programming that combines self-esteem, nutrition and exercise in a cooperative, all-girl learning environment. These programs reach girls who are not currently in Girl Scout troops, and open the world of Girl Scouting to them.”

GSWPA offers Healthy Living Educational Programs in Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clearfield, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Johnstown, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Somerset, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties. The programs are expected to reach 6,500 girls.

About Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is the premier leadership development organization for girls, with more than 35,000 members ages 5-17. With the help of dedicated adult volunteers, the generosity of individual donors, corporations and foundations, and the popular Girl Scout Cookie Program, Girl Scouting helps build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012. For more information on how to join, volunteer or donate, visit www.gswpa.org.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.1 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and employs more than 5,000 people in western Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. For more information about Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, visit www.highmark.com.

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