Eliminating childhood obesity is a top priority for U.S. schools, health organizations and government agencies. CSX has joined the anti-obesity effort through its support of Action for Healthy Kids – a national organization working at the federal and state levels and across school districts to develop in-school physical fitness and nutritional programs. Action for Healthy Kids provides grants to promote child health in schools throughout its network.
As part of the partnership, CSX has committed to implement physical activity projects in 288 schools across 12 states, which will impact about 75,000 children. "The CSX - Action for Healthy Kids connection is a great example of the company's commitment to positively impact lives beyond our rails," explained John Kitchens, director-Corporate Citizenship. "CSX has several corporate wellness programs that help our employees experience healthier lifestyles. Through this effort we now offer opportunities for the kids in our communities to also benefit from wellness education and fitness experiences."
The grant program is already producing positive results. Recently, CSX's funding helped provide $2,500 grants to two schools – the Capital City Public Charter School, a middle school in Washington, D.C., and Moundsville Middle School in Moundsville, W. Va. To expand and improve in-school physical activities, the Capital City Public Charter School purchased equipment for games providing physical movement and healthy competition with schoolmates. The school also plans to buy sweat suits for after-school winter sports programs in swimming and basketball.
Moundsville Middle School purchased stationary bikes that were placed in several classrooms. Students are encouraged to take turns using the bikes while learning in English and Language Arts classes. As a result, students are exercising about 30 minutes more each week and are showing improved academic performance in those subjects.
John said, "We are helping schools develop solutions that raise the standard for physical activity among our youth and contribute to improved health in our communities."